- (Photo: Screenshot/WhiteHouse.gov)
In a press briefing delivered at 12:15 p.m. EST, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed the recent news that letters containing the bio-toxin Ricin addressed to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) had been intercepted at an off-site testing facility.
Carney was assertive in warning the American people to not jump to conclusions in connecting Monday's Boston Marathon bombings to the Ricin-laced letters.
"Before we speculate or make connections that we don't know … we need to get the facts," Carney told reporters at Wednesday's press conference.
"It is very important to allow this investigation to run its full course," Carney asserted.
The White House remained rather mum on the topic of the poisonous letters, directing all questions regarding the letters to the FBI, which released a statement Tuesday regarding the ricin-laced parcels.
"The Secret Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said in a statement, as reported by NBC News.
The FBI added in a separate statement that "it is important to note that operations at the White House have not been affected as a result of the investigation."
Carney confirmed on Wednesday that the preliminary tests on the suspicious letters yielded ricin, but secondary and tertiary tests will take more time to complete.
"The FBI has a lead for determining whether a suspicious powder is a dangerous substance, such as ricin, and those processes take place at an accredited facility and they take some time," Carney told reporters.
Full laboratory results on the two letters are reportedly expected within the next 24 to 48 hours.
When asked what President Obama's reaction was when he was briefed on the ricin-laced letters, Carney responded:
"I don't have a way to characterize his reaction. Obviously he understands, and we all understand, that there are procedures in place."
U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Tuesday that a suspicious letter that tested positive for ricin had been sent to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and an investigation into that letter was ongoing.
On Wednesday it was confirmed by the FBI that a second letter addressed to President Obama had tested positive for ricin at an off-site mail facility which screens White House mail.
The FBI claims to have a lead on who sent the letters, which were both reportedly sent from Memphis, Tenn., on April 8 and were both signed with the cryptic message: "I am KC and I approve this message."
Ricin is a bio-toxin created from castor beans for which there is no cure. Once one comes in contact with ricin, the toxin can kill within 36 hours.
The FBI said in its statement that there is "no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston."
On Monday, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon in Massachusetts, killing three and injuring over 100.
Monday's bombings have since been labeled an "act of terror" by President Obama.
Monday's terror attack and Wednesday's ricin scare remind many of the tragic terrorist attacks on New York City's Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
One week after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, America experienced an attack of Anthrax, during which letters containing spores of the deadly Anthrax virus were mailed to the offices of Democratic U.S. Senators and media corporations, killing five people and infecting 17.