Charge over Obama ricin letter

A martial arts instructor from Mississippi has been charged with attempting to use a biological weapon after ricin-laced letters were sent to Barack Obama and other officials.

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White House spokesman brief media over letters

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has briefed the media, following two suspicious letters addresSed to the President and a US Senator.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Credit: .

He said: "There was a letter addressed to the President at an off-site mail facility. It was noticed to have contained a suspicious substance and tests were undertaken.

"The FBI has the lead in that investigation and has said they will be conducting further tests to determine what the nature of the substance is.

"There was another letter detected by Capitol Police that was sent to a US Senator that is also part of the investigation by the FBI...The President, of course, has been briefed on these letters."

Secret Service launch investigation into suspect letter

A letter addressed to President Barack Obama containing a suspicious substance was received at a White House mail screening facility on Tuesday, the US Secret Service has said.

The facility is remote and not located near the White House itself. This facility routinely identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery.The Secret Service is working closely with the US Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation.

– White House spokesman Edwin Donovan


'Suspicious letter' addressed to Obama is intercepted

A suspicious letter sent to US President Barack Obama has been intercepted at a mail screening facility, Reuters reports.

President Barack Obama. Credit: Dennis Brack/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The letter addresses to Obama, contained a "suspicious substance" authorities have told NBC News.

"A letter addressed to the president was received at a remote screening facility containing a suspicious substance. We are working closely with Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation," a Secret Service spokesman said.

It comes as it was reported that two letters containing the poison ricin were sent to the US Senate yesterday and today.

Senate sergeant: 'Employees should be vigilant'

Senator Roger Wicker in Washington. Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The US Senate sergeant at arms said in a warning to members of the Senate that all employees should be vigilant in the wake of a poisoned letter sent to a Senator.

Terrance Gaines said in a written statement: "Senate employees should be vigilant in their mail handling processes for ALL mailings."

Members of the Senate were briefed on the ricin incident by Mr Gaines during a meeting with FBI director Robert Mueller and Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, on Tuesday on the bombings in Boston.

The two incidents have not been connected.

Several senators told reporters after the briefing that the incident reminded them of the anthrax attacks in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

Several senators said that all mail to the US Senate had been stopped and post offices at the Capitol had been closed as a precaution.

They said they were getting in touch with their state offices, where mail is not routinely screened, to ensure that precautions were being put in place.

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