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Letters to NY Mayor Bloomberg Test Positive for Ricin

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg

New York police said Wednesday that two anonymous letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg contained traces of the deadly poison ricin.

One letter was opened Friday in New York at the city's mail facility, and the other Sunday in Washington at the headquarters of the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both were addressed to Bloomberg and contained threats referring to the gun debate, the police said.

Preliminary testing indicated the presence of ricin, they said, adding that civilian staff who came into contact with the letters were not showing any symptoms, but some officers who later examined the one in New York were.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans.

It's not clear if the letters were related to other threatening, ricin-laced letters sent to other lawmakers recently.