Law enforcement intercepts package of highly-toxic ricin mailed to President Trump

An American flag flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington on Saturday

"At this time, there is no known threat to public safety", the FBI's Washington field office said in a statement to CNN.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Saturday it was working with the FBI to investigate the "suspicious letter sent to the White House".

Federal authorities are investigating after ricin, a deadly toxin, was discovered in mail intended for the White House.

Mail addressed to the White House is prescreened and tested for risky substances at an off-site mail facility.

Ricin is naturally found in castor beans, but it can be made into a poison from the waste "mash" produced when castor oil is made.

CNN reported that two tests were done on the envelope to identify the lethal substance. However, a US official did say that there's a possibility that the package came from Canada.

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Ingesting or inhaling the poison can cause a range of painful symptoms from nausea through to organ failure and death through a collapse in the circulatory system. There is no known antidote.

This was not the first time someone has attempted to send President Trump ricin through the mail. It can be used in the form of powder, mist, pellet or acid.

The White House and other federal buildings have been the target of ricin packages in the past.

Back in 2018, a former member of the Navy was suspected of sending ricin in letters addressed to the Pentagon and Trump.

Two men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in 2014 for attempting to send then-President Barack Obama packages that were contaminated with ricin.

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