An anonymous letter received by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last Friday contained the poison ricin.
The threatening letter was a protest on gun control. Bloomberg is a co-founder of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The director of the group Mark Glaze received a ricin letter himself two days later.
A “pink-orange, oily substance” was seen on the letters and that triggered suspicion. The letters were tested at the National Biofrensic Center in Maryland. New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne revealed that the letters contained ricin on Wednesday.
According to Newsday, the postal workers’ union said the letters were postmarked from Shreveport, La.
Michael Bloomberg was very fortunate not to have consumed or to have inhaled the deadly toxin. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no cure for ricin. The toxin is found in castor beans. However, the CDC mentioned that it would take a “deliberate” act to poison someone with ricin, and unintentional exposure is “highly unlikely”.
Despite the fact that someone tried to kill him, Bloomberg seemed unphased by the incident. Bloomberg told CBS, “No, I’m not angry. There are people who, I would argue, do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong, but it’s a very complex world out there, and we just have to deal with that.”
Members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and politicians for gun control are on high alert. The Washington Post reported that ricin letters were also sent to Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and President Obama. Politico confirmed the Obama letter. Secret Service Spokesman Edwin Donovan told Politico, “The White House mail screening facility intercepted addressed to the White House…similar to letters previously addressed to Mayor Bloomberg in New York.”
A joint terrorism task force is currently investigating the letters.