An envelope that seems to have been dispatched from Canada addressed to the White House was impeded by U.S Authorities. The envelope contained a substance recognized as ricin, a deadly poison, said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Saturday. It was intercepted before it reached the White House at a government mail centre.
The FBI has requested for assistance from the RCMP about the mysterious envelope sent to the White House, mentioned an RCMP spokesperson. The FBI also “conducted an analysis on the substance found in the envelope” and discovered the existence of ricin, they added.
The FBI, the US Secret Services and the US Postal Inspection Service collectively are investigating the “suspicious letter received at a US Government Facility”, the FBI commented. They continued to mention that there is “no threat to public safety”.
Ricin is a lectin that is organically produced in castor oil seeds but can be turned into a lethal poison with intentional effort. Purified ricin powder as small as salt grains can kill an adult human within 36-72 hours from exposure and no known antidote exists till date.
Several such incidents have happened before this where such envelopes were mailed to US Officials. A Utah man, William Clyde Allen III was taken into custody in 2018 after making ricin associated threats against President Trump and other federal officials with letters containing “castor bean material”. Then-president Barack Obama was also sent ricin letters and two people were arrested. James Everett Dutschke, one of them was sentenced to 25 years in 2014 after pleading guilty for sending letters to a US Senator and State Judge too. Similarly, in 2014 a Texas actor was also sentenced for 18 years for sending such letters to Obama and then New York Mayor.