Ricin-Tainted Letter Sent To Mike Bloomberg
A letter apparently tainted with a crude form of ricin was sent to New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg:
Letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun violence group appeared to include the substance ricin and also issued threats to Bloomberg that referenced gun issues, the chief spokesman for the New York City Police Department confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
“Anonymous threats to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in letters opened in New York City on Friday and by the director of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Washington, DC on Sunday contained material that when tested locally, preliminarily indicated the presence of ricin,” New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said in a statement.
He added that “tests on the letter opened in New York also preliminarily indicated the presence of ricin in testing today at the National Bioforensic Analysis Center in Maryland. The writer, in letters, threatened Mayor Bloomberg, with references to the debate on gun laws.”
Bloomberg, acknowledging the letters, told reporters that his organization won’t back down from anti-gun efforts despite the threats.
“In terms of why they’ve done it, I don’t know,” Bloomberg said. “The letter obviously referred to our anti-gun efforts. But there’s 12,000 people who are gonna get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are gonna commit suicide with guns and we’re not gonna walk away from these efforts.”
The statement said the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New York Police Department Intelligence Division are investigating.
“Civilian personnel in New York and Washington who came in contact with the opened letters remain asymptomatic,” the statement continued. “However, members of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit who came in contact with the letter that was opened at the city’s mail facility on Gold Street in Manhattan on Friday are being examined for minor symptoms of ricin exposure that they experienced on Saturday but which have since abated.”
This appears to be unconnected to the ricin scare that gripped Washington back in April. Indeed, reports suggest that the ricin used in this letter was far less sophisticated, and likely less dangerous, than the substance used in those letters.