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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NYPD: Mayor Bloomberg received threatening letters containing ricin last week

NEW YORK  — Threatening letters addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in both New York and Washington, D.C., have been found preliminarily to contain ricin, police said Wednesday.

The anonymous threats to Bloomberg were opened in New York City on Friday, and by the director of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns – of which Bloomberg
is co-chairman – on Sunday.

Preliminary tests on both letters concluded that they contained the deadly toxin ricin, police said.

The writer of the letters made reference to debate on gun laws. Mayor Bloomberg is a strong supporter of gun control.

Civilian personnel in New York and in Washington who came into contact with the opened letters have not suffered symptoms, but three NYPD Emergency Service Unit officers who came into contact with the letter at the city mail facility on Gold Street in Manhattan have been treated for minor symptoms of ricin exposure that have since abated, officials said.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the NYPD Intelligence Division have launched an investigation. CBS News reported at least one of the letters had a Louisiana return address, reported CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Last month, ricin-tainted letters addressed to President Barack Obama, as well as U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and an 80-year-old Mississippi judge, were intercepted. Former Mississippi State House candidate and child sexual abuse investigation subject J. Everett Dutschke, 41, has been arrested in connection with that case.

Derived from the castor oil plant, ricin is a highly toxic protein that can kill a full-grown adult in a dose the size of just a few grains of salt.

New York News | NYC Breaking News

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