The United States law enforcement officials had earlier this week intercepted a package addressed to US President Donald Trump that contained a deadly poison, ricin. The authorities believe the letter may have originated in Canada.
The FBI, US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspection Service partners are currently investigating the letter as per a statement issued by the FBI. The FBI has stated that there is no threat to public safety as of now. Authorities are also investigating additional similar packages mailed to certain addresses in Texas which could have been sent by same sender from Canada.
As per protocol, all letters received by the White House are sorted and checked at an offsite facility before they are brought to the White House.
Ricin, how it works
As per reports, two tests were conducted to confirm the presence of ricin, a highly toxic compound that is extracted from castor beans. Ricin is used in terror attacks and can be used in form of a powder, pellet, mist or acid. Ingestion of ricin causes nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding of stomach and intestines leading to liver and kidney failure and resulting in death due to collapse of circulatory system.
Ricin does not have any known antidote yet.
White House and ricin attacks
In 2013, a Mississippi man had reportedly sent ricin laced package to then US President Barack Obama and other officials. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail. Few months later, a Texas-based actress had sent ricin to Obama to protest against gun laws. In 2018, too, a former Navy veteran was charged with sending toxic letters to Pentagon and White House.