Officials identify a woman suspect after letter laced with deadly ricin poison sent to President Trump

white house exterior
The White House is pictured in 2018.
  • An envelope addressed to the White House that contained the deadly poison ricin was intercepted by US authorities on Saturday, according to a report by the New York Times.

  • The letter was addressed to President Donald Trump and appears to have been sent from Canada.

  • Officials have identified a woman as a suspect, but have given no further details about the incident.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An envelope posted to the White House containing the lethal substance ricin was intercepted by US authorities on Saturday.

The letter addressed to President Donald Trump appears to have been sent from Canada, and officials have identified a woman as a suspect, according to a report by the New York Times.

It was stopped at the final off-site government mail center before it arrived at the White House.

"The FBI and our US Secret Service and US Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a US government mail facility," the FBI said in a statement, according to Times. "At this time, there is no known threat to public safety."

Similar envelopes were sent to law enforcement agencies in Texas, including a detention facility and a sheriff's office.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington is taking charge of the investigation with help from New York and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

No links have been found between the poisonous letter and any international terrorist organizations, investigators  said. They declined to elaborate on what evidence they had that pointed them to the female suspect.

However, officials have said that the investigation is still in its early stages, and nothing has yet been ruled out.

Ricin is a powerful toxin produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant. The seed is so potent that a dose of purified ricin powder the size of a few grains of table salt can kill a human within three to five days.

This is not the first time there have been such attacks.

A Navy veteran was charged for attempting to send envelopes with ricin to multiple US officials in 2018. William Clyde Allen's case is still pending because officials found he had sent castor beans instead of ricin powder.

Former President Barack Obama was also the target of a ricin attack.

In 2013, actor Shannon Richardson was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for mailing letter laced with ricin to Obama and Michael Bloomberg, then the mayor of New York.

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