The FBI has confirmed that a letter addressed to President Obama has  “preliminarily tested positive” for ricin, a day after lawmakers said another  letter sent to the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Roger Wicker tested positive for  the same substance.

The warnings come amid a flurry of reports on suspicious packages. Fox News  has learned of several suspicious packages or envelopes in various Capitol Hill  office buildings. Capitol Police say three packages that were flagged have been  removed and the areas have been cleared.

Separately, the office of Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., reported a  “suspicious-looking letter” at one of the senator’s Michigan offices; and a  spokesman for Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., reported a “suspicious letter” was  intercepted at Flake’s Phoenix office. Authorities were also called to the  Dallas office of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, over what was described only as “a  piece of mail” — but field tests later came back negative. 

The package alerts compounded security concerns in the wake of the letter  incidents and the Boston bombing, which the FBI has said do not appear to be  related. 

Both of the initial suspicious letters were apparently intercepted on  Tuesday. They never reached the Hill or the White House.

An FBI bulletin obtained by Fox News said the letter sent to Obama is still  being screened, though it initially tested positive. 

The bulletin said both letters included the phrase: “To see a wrong and not  expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”

Both were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.”

The letter to the Mississippi Republican was intercepted at an off-site mail  screening facility.

Authorities declined to comment on a suspect or any other aspect of the  investigation being led by Capitol Police, but Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.,  told the Associated Press police have a suspect in mind.

“The person that is a suspect writes a lot of letters to members,” McCaskill  said as she emerged from a classified briefing.

Testing is apparently still underway. The letter tested positive for ricin in  a field test, but the FBI released a statement Wednesday saying tests have shown  “inconsistent results” and the substance is being further analyzed.

According to a Homeland Security Department handbook, ricin is deadliest when  inhaled. It is not contagious, but there is no antidote.

Wicker thanked law enforcement officials in a statement for “their hard work  and diligence in keeping” those who work in the Capitol safe, adding that the  matter is part of an ongoing investigation by Capitol Police and the FBI. “Gayle  and I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers,” he said.

As of Tuesday night, mail delivery had only been stopped to the Senate, not  the House.

“It is of concern,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said after learning about the  incident in a briefing with other senators late Tuesday.

The envelope had a Tennessee postmark and no return address.

The letter inside included an implied threat to effect of: “You haven’t  listen to me before. Now you will, even if people have to die,” Politico also  reported.

Sources say officials are familiar with the person believed to have sent the  letter as the person has sent other letters before.

FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano  were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a scheduled talk about cyber security. But  that briefing morphed into talks about Boston, after the bombings Monday.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer conducted a separate briefing for  senators specifically on ricin.

It’s unclear whether the letter had any connection to the Boston  attack.

The mail-screening system was established after the Anthrax attacks of 2001  that closed the Hart Senate Office Building.

Source: Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Mike Levine and The Associated Press  contributed to this report.



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