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SENATE POWDER TESTS POSITIVE FOR RICIN (Update -- 16 PEOPLE DECONTAMINATED)
AP Wire ^ | Feb. 3, 2004 | AP Wire

Posted on 02/02/2004 10:18:25 PM PST by varina davis

Senate Powder Tests Positive for Ricin

February 3, 2004 12:20 AM EST

WASHINGTON - Preliminary tests of a white powder discovered in a Senate office building Monday were positive for the potentially deadly poison ricin, the U.S. Capitol Police chief said.

Two out of three tests indicate ricin, Chief Terrance Gainer said at a late-evening news conference. The third test came out negative, and a fourth, more definitive test was under way, with results expected Tuesday.

Sixteen people who were on the floor where the white powder was discovered on mail were being decontaminated and would be allowed to go home, Gainer said.

"At the moment we're in a wait-and-see position from an analytical point of view in what next steps we may take," he said. That included what, if any decontamination of the Dirksen Senate Office Building would be needed.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., also at the news conference, said no symptoms were reported by those near the powder. "Everybody's fine" and there is "no cause for alarm," he said.

"Nobody is sick, we don't expect anybody to get sick," said Frist, a surgeon before his election to the Senate.

The powder was discovered at about 3 p.m. in a mail room near Frist's office on the fourth floor of the Dirksen Building, Gainer said. A congressional official had said earlier the powder was found in Frist's office suite.

Another government official said lab tests were being conducted at Fort Detrick in Maryland, but Gainer refused to give any location.

Authorities do not know if the substance was found on a letter or a package, the chief said.

The Homeland Security Department is monitoring the situation, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said.

Ricin, derived from the castor bean plant, can kill within days. Twice as deadly as cobra venom, ricin is relatively easily made. It may be inhaled, ingested or injected.

Police found traces of ricin in a north London apartment last January and arrested seven men of North African origin in connection with the virulent toxin that has been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.

A package containing ricin was also found at a post facility serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina in October.

An FBI official said the bureau was awaiting the result of tests at the Fort Detrick laboratory before deciding whether to get more fully involved in the case.

Mail to congressional offices has been irradiated since deadly anthrax was found in letters sent to the offices of Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in 2001. No one was arrested in those incidents.

Frist said irradiation would likely have no effect on ricin because the substance is neither a virus or a bacterium.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: blackmail; castorbean; castorbeans; castoroil; chemicalweapons; chemterror; dc; dhs; dirksenbuilding; hazmat; letters; packages; poisonplots; positive; powder; ricin; ricinplot; ricinplots; senate; tests; wmd
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1 posted on 02/02/2004 10:18:26 PM PST by varina davis
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To: varina davis
Ricin? Yawn..., I've got better things to get worked up about-- like Janet Jackson's nipple....
2 posted on 02/02/2004 10:21:41 PM PST by freebilly
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To: varina davis
Monsieur Jean Kerry

Measure Number: H.R. 3396 (Defense of Marriage Act) Kerry (D-MA), Nay

"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism.
SC Dem Debate 01/29/04

Kerry opposed the death penalty until 2002 , voted against military action in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, and voted to freeze defense spending.

U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday said Pope John Paul II ``crossed the line'' by instructing pols to block legalization of gay marriage.
Boston Herald 08/02/03

During the height of the Cold War, Kerry opposed the entire strategic modernization effort proposed by President Reagan — the Peacekeeper, B-1 and B-2 bombers, the Trident submarine and D-5 missile, opposed the non-strategic modernization of the defense budget as well, and the deployment of the INF missiles in Europe.
Washington Times 01/04


3 posted on 02/02/2004 10:26:29 PM PST by KQQL (@)
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To: varina davis
Do you actually get sick from ricin or just keel over dead? Didn't that spy who got the ricin prick from the umbrella die right away?

This seems like big news; why haven't I heard anything about this?

4 posted on 02/02/2004 10:29:51 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle
The media was pretty guarded with news about it today, though it has been in the headlines on TV tonight.
5 posted on 02/02/2004 10:31:56 PM PST by varina davis
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To: Yaelle
"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism.
SC Dem Debate 01/29/04
6 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:00 PM PST by KQQL (@)
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To: Yaelle
why haven't I heard anything about this?

It was sent to Frist's office. It would be news if it were sent to Hillary's office....

7 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:14 PM PST by freebilly
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To: Yaelle
This seems like big news; why haven't I heard anything about this?

Because if this really is Ricin it is almost certainly the work of Islamists. And that would be the anthrax mailings were almost certainly Islamists. And the press really really doesn't want it to be Islamists.
8 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:56 PM PST by swilhelm73
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To: varina davis
Wasn't ricin found in Iraq?
9 posted on 02/02/2004 10:33:24 PM PST by katz (Rush Rocksee)
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To: varina davis; JohnHuang2
don't worry... its just a chem-bio weapon...
10 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:03 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: Yaelle
You get sick then slowly die if enough is injested. No cure for it if a lethal dose is administered.
11 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:13 PM PST by Bogey78O (Why are we even having this debate?)
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To: Yaelle
A package containing ricin was also found at a post facility serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina in October.

I don't recall hearing anything about this either.

12 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:47 PM PST by Dianna
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To: katz
David Kay said that RICIN was being made in IRAQ right up to the invasion... isn't that a WMD???
13 posted on 02/02/2004 10:35:15 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: Yaelle; Peach
Stealing Peach's post from the other thread......


The ricin was found a little after 3:00; CNN has said they've known about since shortly after noon (that was the 11:00 p.m. hour when that jerk who anchors said that).

Anyway, link to FNC story - Frist says it's terrorism:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110243,00.html
14 posted on 02/02/2004 10:35:17 PM PST by Bradís Gramma (BG (Logan's Personal Mafia Hit Squad))
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To: Yaelle
Since it was just another "field" positive until recently.....now looks more serious and newsworthy quite frankly.

It should be the lead tomorrow morning on national programs. If not, the managing editors of some of these shows need to be replaced.
15 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:12 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: varina davis
Didn't we find ricin in Iraq ..??
16 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:41 PM PST by CyberAnt ("America is the GREATEST NATION on the face of the earth")
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To: GeronL
It kills fast.
17 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:42 PM PST by katz (Rush Rocksee)
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To: katz
...hey... I just heard the highway Bill going through Congress would INCREASE the GAS TAX!!! 8 cents a gallon!!

I thought Congress was run by cons...oh.. just Republicans..

18 posted on 02/02/2004 10:42:31 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: KQQL
Taxpayers will never Ketchup with Heinz's boy.

Feel free to use that one.

19 posted on 02/02/2004 10:44:24 PM PST by BJungNan
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To: swilhelm73
Because if this really is Ricin it is almost certainly the work of Islamists.

How can you be so certain that Islamists are responsible? I could understand a suspicion, but certainly the stuff could also be processed here in the USA, by someone not associated with Islam.

Just my thoughts.
20 posted on 02/02/2004 10:46:24 PM PST by SmokinDave (http://www.SmokinDave.com)
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