Initial tests show letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns contained the lethal poison ricin. In addition to the ricin, the letters carried threats against the mayor and referenced the gun control debate.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
Two anonymous letters addressed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group contained material believed to be the deadly poison ricin, and referenced the debate on gun laws, police said on Wednesday.
The New York Police Department said initial tests on the two letters, opened in New York on Friday and in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, indicated the presence of ricin.
"In both letters the content was identical," police spokesman Paul Browne said, adding that the packages contained "an oily substance" that was a pink or orange hue. "One letter was addressed to the mayor personally."
Emergency workers who came in contact with the letters initially showed minor symptoms of ricin exposure, the police said. Those symptoms have since abated. Civilian personnel in New York and Washington who came in contact with the opened letters showed no symptoms of ricin exposure.
The Washington letter was opened by Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by Bloomberg that lobbies for stricter gun laws. The other letter was opened at a mail facility in Manhattan.
Both contained threats against Bloomberg and mentioned the gun debate, police said in a statement.