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February 3, 2004
Deadly Ricin Found: New Terrorist Attack

Just in case anyone thought that the war on terror had ended, reality intruded overnight as the deadly poison ricin was found in the Senate complex:

Following the discovery of the deadly toxin ricin in the mailroom of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, much of the Senate complex will be shut down Tuesday, the Senate Web site said. "The Capitol will be open for essential personnel only. All tours will be canceled until further notice. Senate office buildings will be closed today. This includes the Hart, Dirksen, and Russell Senate Office Buildings," according to a statement on the Web page.

Tests on a white powdery substance found in the mailroom indicate the presence of ricin, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer and Frist said late Monday. Frist said he considers the incident a "terrorist activity."

Of eight tests conducted throughout the day, six were positive for the toxin, with a ninth and final test due Tuesday. "From a scientific standpoint, this is ricin," Frist said. "It is in all likelihood sent with intent to harm."

I doubt that this event will be spectacular enough to remind some of the danger the US still faces from terrorists -- foreign and domestic -- but it will underscore for most the need for continued vigilance. Hopefully no one at the Senate complex got enough exposure to get sick from this attack. Ricin is twice as deadly as snake venom and can kill through inhalation or contact.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 3, 2004 6:15 AM

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It seems there has been a quiet terrorist attack in Washington D.C. A white powder in a mailed letter has been determined to be Ricin: The three Senate office buildings were closed Tuesday after the discovery of what tests have... [Read More]

Tracked on February 3, 2004 10:07 AM

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