A person holds seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) containing the deadly poison ricin, on June 14, 2018 in Berlin. – A Tunisian man arrested in Germany is suspected of trying to build a biological weapon using the deadly poison ricin that occurs in castor beans, prosecutors said, stressing however there was no indication of any “concrete attack plans”. Ricin — a poison that is produced by processing castor beans — has no known antidote and is one of the world’s most lethal toxins. (Photo by Jens Kalaene / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read JENS KALAENE/AFP/Getty Images) (Photo: JENS KALAENE, AFP/Getty Images)
A woman suspected of sending a package containing the poison ricin to the White House is expected to appear in a New York court Monday, following her arrest at the U.S.-Canada border, authorities said.
The suspect was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo on Sunday and is expected to face federal charges in connection with the package which was intercepted in the past week, a law enforcement official said.
The letter was believed to have been mailed from Canada, the official said.
In a weekend statement, the FBI described the missive as “a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility.”
Mail addressed to the White House is screened at an off-site location.
Ricin explained: Just how deadly is it, how does it kill?
Ricin, a poison drawn from the husks of castor beans, has surfaced in other plots targeting President Donald Trump, President Barack Obama and other officials. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to ricin through inhalation, ingestion or injection can lead to death.
In 2018, a federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment against a Utah man, alleging that he threatened Trump and other administration officials in letters, some of which contained the natural ingredients used to make ricin.
In that case, a series of suspicious letters were addressed to Trump, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and others.
In 2001, following the the 9/11 attacks, another form of bio-terrorism shook the country when letters containing anthrax were sent to congressional and media offices.
Those attacks killed five people and sickened more than a dozen others.
A microbiologist at the Army’s elite infectious disease laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland, Bruce Ivins, committed suicide in 2008, as federal authorities were preparing to charge him in the attacks.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/21/ricin-suspect-linked-white-house-package-appear-ny-court/5851373002/