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Ricin letters

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Ricin letters

Gavin Kuncl, Writer

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On Oct. 3, multiple high ranking government officials were sent letters that tested positive for the poison ricin. Navy veteran William Clyde Allen lll, 39, of Logan, Utah, was charged with five counts, including threatening to use a biological toxin.

Letters were addressed to President Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

None of the letters reached their intended targets, as they were intercepted at the Pentagon mail facility. No injuries were reported. Initially, the letters tested positive for ricin, but not in a large enough quantity to be deadly. Along with the ground up castor beans that ricin is derived from, a note with the message “Jack and the Missile Bean Stalk Powder” was found. Allen did not elaborate on the meaning of the phrase. He told an FBI special agent that he had sent the letters to deliver a message, but again did not elaborate.

In addition to those confirmed to has letters sent to them, Allen allegedly told the FBI that he also sent letters to the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Queen Elizabeth ll of the United Kingdom, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Secretary of the Air Force, who he forgot the name of at the time, but is most likely Heather Wilson. Letters sent to these individuals have not been confirmed or denied.

Allen has a history of making threats. He sent an email to the CIA in 2015 threatening to kill then President Barack Obama if the CIA did not stop infringing on his constitutional rights. Following this, Allen sent an emailed bomb threat to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, in February 2017.

Allen did elaborate on why he had bought around 100 castor beans and his research into ricin. Allen said that he wanted to have the castor beans in case World War lll broke out and believed that they could be used to defend the nation.

Earlier this year, Daniel Frisiello, of Beverly, Massachusetts, tried to send a letter filled with white powder to Donald Trump Jr. in February. However, the letter did not make it to Trump Jr. it went to his now estranged wife, Vanessa Trump. The powder was deemed not hazardous, but she was hospitalized as a precaution. Inside the letter was a note that read, “You are an awful, awful person. I am surprised that your father lets you speak on TV. You [sic] the family idiot, Eric, looks smart. This is the reason why people hate you, so you are getting what you deserve. so shut the [expletive] UP!”

Trump’s son, Eric, claims that every one of his immediate family members had white powder mailed to their homes. He said “I’ve been threatened, our family’s been threatened. All of us. We’ve all had white powder show up at our house… ”

Even more recently, Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R-ME) was sent a suspicious letter in the mail, Monday, Oct. 15. At this time, the contents of the letter have not been confirmed, and no injuries have been reported.

Ricin is a highly toxic and extremely deadly compound that has been used in terror plots around the world. Ricin can be used in powder, pellet, mist, or acid form. If it enters the body, it causes nausea, followed by vomiting and internal bleeding in the stomach and intestines. After those effects, failure of the liver, spleen, and kidneys occurs. Eventually, the circulatory system collapses, causing death.

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About the Writer
Gavin Kuncl, Writer

I'm Gavin Kuncl. I'm a Junior working with the FHS Register staff. I'm an only child with Czech ancestry, (then Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic.)...

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