A package sent to the White House was intercepted by law enforcement earlier this week before it could be delivered to President Trump. The package contained the deadly poison ricin.
Only a few granules of ricin, a poison derived from castor beans, is needed to kill an adult. The progression of ricin poisoning usually begins with nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding in stomach and intestines, then kidney, liver, and spleen failure, and finally a shutdown of the circulatory system, resulting in death.
As reported by CNN, two tests were performed on the package to confirm the presence of ricin. The attempted attack on the president is being investigated by the FBI, Secret Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
As most people are aware, all mail addressed to the White House is screened at an off-site facility prior to being delivered, as a security precaution.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office made a statement about the investigation on Twitter which said: “The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.”
#FBIStatement: "The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety." pic.twitter.com/jsBMIsDHbt
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) September 19, 2020
The New York Times has reported that at least one more letter containing the poison has been found, which was sent to a law enforcement agency in Texas. Investigators are trying to determine whether there are additional letters.
The Times has also reported that an unnamed official involved in the investigation revealed to them that “investigators believe that the letters were sent from Canada and have identified a woman as a suspect.”
Ricin has been used in many past terror plots, and has been sent through the mail to the White House, and other American politicians and military leaders before.
In October 2018, particles of ricin were detected in mail sent to the Pentagon, which was addressed to then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, and then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.