Suspicious packages. One GOP Senator sent Ricin yesterday.
They have a suspect now.
Idiot went right through, cleared, into the Capitol. Wonderful.
"Republican Senator Receives Potentially Ricin-Poisoned Letter"
A suspicious letter potentially laced with a poison, ricin, and postmarked from Memphis, was sent to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, ABC News has learned.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told ABC News that Capitol offices were on high alert.
The FBI was investigating the incident, officials said.
Sources confirmed the letter was sent to Wicker, R-Miss., but did not arrive at his office on Capitol Hill. It was stopped at a mail processing facility, where, officials said, a preliminary test for ricin came back positive.
Wicker's Dirksen Capitol Hill office is closed for the evening, as it is after office hours.
Wicker released a paper statement on the investigation into the letter late this evening.
"This matter is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Capitol Police and FBI," Wicker said. "I want to thank our law enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of us who work in the Capitol complex safe. [My wife] Gayle and I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."
Aides in Wicker's office emphasized that at no point did the senator's office evacuate or close because of the threat.
"Once we get information from Capitol Hill police, we will send out more," an aide to Wicker said Tuesday evening.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said all mail delivery has been stopped as a precaution.
"We are very concerned," he said.
A false positive for ricin occurs at least once each year, a homeland security official told ABC News. The letter was being tested out of an abundance of caution.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, on Capitol Hill, declined to comment tonight on the suspicious letter.
Wicker came to the Senate in 2007 after more than a decade in the House. He was appointed by then-Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi.
The reports of a poisonous letter may rekindle for some people memories from 2004, when ricin was found in the office mailroom of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee.
In the weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, letters containing anthrax were sent to Capitol Hill, which prompted major changes in security and screening protocol of all mail.
Senators were made aware of the letter sent to Wicker on Tuesday night during a closed-door briefing about the Boston attacks.
The Senate sergeant at arms, Terrance Gainer, warned senators about the letter and outlined a series of precautionary steps to be taken, including the suspension of mail to the Senate.
"The exterior markings on the envelope in this case were not outwardly suspicious," Gainer said. "But it was postmarked from Memphis, Tennessee and had no return address."
A senior Senate official told ABC News that authorities had identified and were interviewing a person of interest -- someone who frequently writes letters to members of Congress. There were no injuries, but the senior official said the event was being treated as "totally real."
Members of Congress were also taking extra security steps at their district offices in their home states.
"It rarely gets to the member before it goes through a lot of staff," said Flake, the Arizona senator. "That's a big concern, obviously, for all of us. So we are very anxious to get more details on this."
The Centers for Disease Control defines ricin as a poison that comes from castor beans and can be found in a powder, a mist, a pellet or dissolved in water.
"In the 1940s the U.S. military experimented with using ricin as a possible warfare agent," the CDC writes. "In some reports ricin has possibly been used as a warfare agent in the 1980s in Iraq and more recently by terrorist organizations."
Bomb squad on the scene at both Hart and Russell Senate office buildings - @politico
"Parts of Senate Cleared"
Washington (CNN) -- White House mail handlers identified a "suspicious substance" in a letter sent to President Barack Obama the same day one suspected of containing the poison ricin was found in a Senate mailroom, the Secret Service said Wednesday.
Both letters arrived Tuesday at off-site postal facilities set up after the 2001 anthrax attacks and have been sent to laboratories for additional tests, authorities said.
"A letter addressed to the president containing a suspicious substance was received at the remote White House mail screening facility," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. The Secret Service, FBI and Capitol Police are investigating, he said.
Shortly after that announcement, Capitol Police were checking out reports of suspicious packages or letters in two Senate office buildings. The first floor of the Hart Senate Office Building was evacuated shortly before noon.
That news came a day after preliminary tests on a letter sent to the Senate indicated the presence of ricin, a deadly toxin with no known antidote. Further tests on that letter took place Wednesday, the FBI said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was told the envelope was addressed to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, a conservative Republican from Mississippi. It had a Memphis, Tennessee, postmark and no return address, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer wrote in an e-mail to senators and aides.
Congressional and law enforcement sources said the envelope was intercepted Tuesday at the Capitol's off-site mail facility. Coming on the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the discovery further heightened security concerns at a time when Congress is considering politically volatile legislation to toughen gun laws and reform the immigration system.
"Monday's attack in Boston reminded us that terrorism can still strike anywhere at any time," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. "And as yesterday's news of an attempt to send ricin to the Capitol reminds us, it is as important as ever to take the steps necessary to protect Americans from those who would do us harm."
A laboratory in Maryland confirmed the presence of ricin on the letter addressed to Wicker after initial field tests also indicated the poison was present, according to Gainer. However, the FBI said additional testing was needed because field and preliminary tests produce inconsistent results.
"Only a full analysis performed at an accredited laboratory can determine the presence of a biological agent such as ricin," according to the bureau. "Those tests are in the process of being conducted and generally take from 24 to 48 hours."
In a statement late Tuesday, the U.S. Capitol Police said further tests would be conducted at the Army's biomedical research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, told reporters after a briefing for lawmakers that a suspect has already been identified in the incident, but a knowledgeable source said no one was in custody Tuesday night.
Wicker has been assigned a protective detail, according to a law enforcement source.
Postal workers started handling mail at a site off Capitol Hill after the 2001 anthrax attacks that targeted then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-Nebraska, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, among others.
Senators were told Tuesday that the mail facility would be temporarily shut down "to make sure they get everything squared away," McCaskill said Tuesday afternoon.
"The bottom line is, the process we have in place worked," she said, adding that members of Congress will be warning their home-state offices to look out for similar letters.
McConnell, R-Kentucky, also praised the postal workers and law enforcement officers for "preventing this threat before it even reached the Capitol."
"They proved that the proactive measures we put in place do in fact work," he said.
A previous ricin scare hit the Capitol in 2004, when tests identified a letter in a Senate mailroom that served then-Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. The discovery forced 16 employees to go through decontamination procedures, but no one reported any ill effects afterward, Frist said.
Ricin is a highly toxic substance derived from castor beans. As little as 500 micrograms -- an amount the size of the head of a pin -- can kill an adult. There is no specific test for exposure and no antidote once exposed.
It can be produced easily and cheaply, and authorities in several countries have investigated links between suspect extremists and ricin. But experts say it is more effective on individuals than as a weapon of mass destruction.
Ricin was used in the 1978 assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov. The author, who had defected nine years earlier, was jabbed by the tip of an umbrella while waiting for a bus in London and died four days later.
Wicker, 61, was first appointed by former Republican Gov. Haley Barbour to the U.S. Senate in December 2007 after the resignation of then-Sen. Trent Lott. He was then elected to the seat in 2008 and won re-election in 2012 to a second term.
Before joining the Senate, he was a U.S. representative in the House from 1995 to 2007. Before that, he served in the Mississippi Senate.
@BuzzFeedNews: CNN: Man in custody in Hart Senate building. Had a backpack with letters in it.
Wonder if it's connected to Boston bombings. Media is now speculating.
It's like a bad reboot of 9/11...
White House is getting ready to speak to the public.
Obama should direct all suspicious personal mail to Mitt Romney ASAP.
Wicker was one of the few Republicans who voted to end the gun control filibuster.
Boston did not scare us enough more compliance needed.
r4 i would very much like to (((SLAP))) you HARD.
You moronic paranoid 'truther'.
I love all this excitement!!!
This is clearly a false flag attack, set up as an excuse for Obama to confiscate our mail.
R14, I'm glad you explained you were a lesbian because I was really confused at first by your over the top, dramatic and violent response.
Shorter version of R16:
Another right-wing kook has gone off the rails. Launch distract mode.
Good one, r17, I'll give you that.
But your paranoia is ridiculous.
Don't waste your time, r14. Not worth it.
R16, he can take my Ethan Allen catalogs and junk mail for various Visa cards.
This has got to be a tea-bagger or some other right wing douche. I didn't think so until we found out the repub who got one was for the gun-control bill. They've been threatening their "war" for 5 years now. And when it comes out, let's watch FOX try to distance themselves from it after relentlessly stirring them up for years.
It's obviously connect to the gun debate.
Ha! It would display to Congress why we need protection!
Good thing no one started doing lines off it in the mail room.
In an intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the FBI says that letters to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., both say: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." Both letters are signed, "I am KC and I approve this message."
Dick Cheney has been whisked to an undisclosed location.
Dick Cheney is in Britain for Thatcher's funeral.
[quote]"I am KC and I approve this message."
Kristin Chenoweth? Who knew?
I wonder if the bombing was the work of some gun nuts who wanted to show the world that not only guns kill people. I guess we'll know more at 5 when the press conference is scheduled.
r30, they're 99.9% unrelated.
I think the "suspect" sent letters to like 50 people in Congress. My guess is that NONE of them contain ricin, and this has all been a hysterical response.
R14 is a sheep. R4 is correct in not buying into all of this, as there are too many inconsistencies. Also why both of these events now? Again, stop drinking in what the news media puts in front of you. Wake up and seek facts and question everything. I promise if you do this you will be surprised.
R14 is a naive moron. Typical dumb dyke no doubt. Ignorant and belligerently proud of it.
To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.
What is s/he talking about?
They've arrested saw some Memphis douchebag. The letter mailed included his own initials. He also sent one to Obama.
I hope this moron didn't think his letter was actually going to get anywhere near the President or he's a total idiot.
Who in this day and age thinks the President opens his own mail?
What on earth happened?? Reuters just announced an explosion in Waco Texas!
How did I know that r32 from this thread is r40 from today's "VOTE THE REPUBLICANS OUT" thread...?