UPDATE: Man Accused Of Sending Suspicious Letters To D.C. Has Be - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Man Accused Of Sending Suspicious Letters To D.C. Has Been Arrested

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: Suspect arrested for sending suspicious letters to Pres Obama/Sen Wicker ID'd as Kenneth Curtis of Tupelo, MS -@PeteWilliamsNBC

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The substance that's believed to be contained in letters that were sent to President Barack Obama and to Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is ricin. It's a poison that has sometimes been lumped in with other bioterrorism agents, because it comes from a relatively common plant -- the castor plant that makes castor oil -- and because it seems easy to make.
    
But in fact, ricin has created far more scares than victims.
    
It's more of a targeted poison -- a tool for an assassin -- rather than something with which to attack a lot of people.
    
What makes it scary is that there is no known antidote -- and it is at its deadliest when it is inhaled. It isn't contagious.
    
One bioterrorism expert at the University of Maryland says ricin is "one of the least significant" biological and chemical terror agents. Milt Leitenberg also says in nearly all cases when early tests show the presence of ricin, it turns out to be a false alarm.
    
A draft of a 2010 Homeland Security Department handbook lists only one person killed by ricin. And that was a political assassination of a Bulgarian dissident in 1978. He was injected with a ricin pellet, by way of a specialized secret-agent-style umbrella.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Viral Post: 15-year-old girl helps blind, deaf man on Alaska flight

    Viral Post: 15-year-old girl helps blind, deaf man on Alaska flight

    Saturday, June 23 2018 2:08 AM EDT2018-06-23 06:08:40 GMT

    A 15-year-old girl's generosity has gone viral according to a Facebook post with nearly 300,000 shares. The post from Lynette Scribner describes a man, Tim Cook, who is both deaf and blind who was flying home to Portland unaccompanied after visiting his sister in Boston. 

    More >>

    A 15-year-old girl's generosity has gone viral according to a Facebook post with nearly 300,000 shares. The post from Lynette Scribner describes a man, Tim Cook, who is both deaf and blind who was flying home to Portland unaccompanied after visiting his sister in Boston. 

    More >>
  • Protests, facility visits planned amid immigration confusion

    Protests, facility visits planned amid immigration confusion

    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:46 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:46:13 GMT
    MGN ImageMGN Image

    McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Protests and rallies focused around the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border are scheduled this weekend, while more than two dozen congressional Democrats plan to visit detention facilities in Texas.  

    More >>

    McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Protests and rallies focused around the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border are scheduled this weekend, while more than two dozen congressional Democrats plan to visit detention facilities in Texas.  

    More >>
  • Cage-free egg initiative qualifies for California ballot

    Cage-free egg initiative qualifies for California ballot

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:31 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:31:52 GMT

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California voters will decide in November whether egg-laying hens must live cage free. Secretary of State Alex Padilla says an initiative setting standards for confining calves, pigs and hens is eligible for the ballot. Businesses wouldn't be allowed to sell meat and eggs raised in settings that don't meet the standards.

    More >>

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California voters will decide in November whether egg-laying hens must live cage free. Secretary of State Alex Padilla says an initiative setting standards for confining calves, pigs and hens is eligible for the ballot. Businesses wouldn't be allowed to sell meat and eggs raised in settings that don't meet the standards.

    More >>