Woman suspected of sending poisoned letter to Trump arrested

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States of America Sep 21, 2020, 06.17 AM(IST) Sep 21, 2020, 06.57 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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Law enforcement officials had intercepted a ricin package sent to Trump last week, and investigators were looking into the possibility that it came from Canada.

A woman suspected of sending a letter containing the poison ricin to US President Donald Trump has been arrested, a US law enforcement official said.

According to a CNN report, she was taken into custody when she tried to enter the US from Canada at a border crossing in New York state. She was then carrying a gun.

Law enforcement officials had intercepted a ricin package sent to Trump last week, and investigators were looking into the possibility that it came from Canada.

Two tests had been done to confirm the presence of ricin. All mail for the White House is sorted and screened at an offsite facility before reaching the White House.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed Saturday that it was working with the FBI to investigate the matter -- but is still not in a position to issue a statement, or to confirm/deny any reports on arrests

Authorities are investigating additional similar packages mailed to addresses in Texas that may be connected to the same sender in Canada.

Ricin is a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans that has been used in terror plots. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form. 

If ingested, ricin causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.

As little as 500 micrograms -- an amount the size of the head of a pin -- can kill an adult.

There have been several prior instances in which US officials have been targetted with ricin sent through the mail.

IN PICS | Ricin-filled tales: Criminals who sent poisoned envelopes to Presidents

A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to the then president, Barack Obama, and other officials.

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