Harry Reid warns of new ‘ricin incident’ at Bolling military base

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Update, 5:12 p.m.: Defense Intelligence Agency spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Veale said in a statement that “no suspicious packages or letters were located.”

“Today, DIA’s mail screening equipment alerted officials to the possible presence of a potentially harmful substance. After thorough on-scene investigation, no suspicious packages or letters were located. The FBI took samples and will conduct further testing off-site,” Veale said.

“DIA has no further comment on this ongoing investigation. Questions pertaining to testing should be directed to FBI public affairs,” he concluded.

Update, 3:53 p.m.: A spokesman for the Defense Intelligence Agency told Yahoo News that a “potentially harmful substance” had been detected during a mail screening.

“This morning, DIA security personnel detected a potentially harmful substance during routine screening of incoming mail,” DIA spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas F. Veale told Yahoo News. “Tests by experts called in to assist indicate possible biological toxins. Prudent screening methods and force protection measures were implemented to prevent personnel from being harmed. DIA has maintained normal operations, and will not comment further on this event until an investigation is complete.”

Read the original story below:

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Tuesday that there had been another incident involving the poison ricin at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling military installation, but the public-affairs office at Bolling immediately said it was unaware of any ricin attack on the base.

“I can’t give you any more details,” Reid told reporters. “When I left the room here, I had a [note that] said there’s been an alleged ricin incident at Bolling Air Force Base. That’s all I know. I just read it, walking in there.”

Last week, letters containing ricin were sent to President Barack Obama, Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, and a state judge. Paul Kevin Curtis of Mississippi was arrested and charged with sending the letters, but he was released from jail earlier on Tuesday, for as yet unclear reasons.

“I don’t know of anything that Harry Reid’s talking about,” Bolling public-affairs representative Joseph Cirone told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “First of all, obviously, Bolling Air Force base does not exist. Joint Base Anacostia does exist. … [It is a] Navy base, not an Air Force base.”

According to the base’s website, in 2010, the Naval Support Facility Anacostia and Bolling Air Force Base were consolidated into a single joint base.

Cirone emphasized he had no information or “factual data” about the alleged ricin incident.

“We do have a hazardous material incident that is occurring right now,” Cirone said, but noted that was a “vague” description and “that could be anything from an oil spill and a gasoline spill.”

“The fact that [Reid] said there’s no details, that makes sense, because we don’t have any details yet either,” he added.

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Alexis Levinson