Secret Service Intercepts Possible Ricin Letter At White House - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Secret Service Intercepts Possible Ricin Letter At White House

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS/AP) – The Secret Service said a letter similar to ones sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been intercepted by a White House mail screening facility.

The letter was addressed to President Obama and may have been contaminated with the deadly toxin ricin. Officials said the letter was similar to two ricin-laced letters recently sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A screening facility for mail sent to the White House intercepted the recent letter sent to Mr. Obama, the Secret Service said. The letter has been turned over to the FBI's joint terrorism task force for testing.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reported the letter was postmarked from Shreveport, Louisiana.

Shreveport was also the postmark for the two contaminated letters sent to Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington.

In April, a Mississippi man was arrested for trying to send ricin-laced letters to Mr. Obama, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and a judge. The letters addressed to the president and Wicker were sent April 8. Both letters tested positive for ricin but were intercepted before they reached their targets.

James Everett Dutschke was arrested at his home in Tupelo, Mississippi, April 27 in that investigation. In court papers, the FBI said ricin was found in a martial-arts studio run by Dutschke.

In New York, authorities said responding officers who came into contact with the letter sent there suffered some minor symptoms, CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reported. No one was seriously hurt, but a joint terrorism task force, including the FBI and the NYPD, was called in to investigate.

Bloomberg spoke with reporters shortly after the threats against him became public Wednesday evening.

"No, I'm not angry," said Bloomberg. "There are people who, I would argue, do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong, but it's a very complex world out there, and we just have to deal with that."

(CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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