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Letter to Obama similar to threats made against Bloomberg, anti-gun group

Timothy Clary / AFP - Getty Images

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg arrives for a speech in Manhattan on Thursday.

The Secret Service has intercepted a letter to President Obama containing threats similar to those made in poison-laced letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun-control group, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

The letter to Obama was intercepted at a mail screening facility and did not reach the White House, the sources said. It was being tested for ricin, the poison detected in early tests in the other two letters.

The text of the Obama letter was identical to the text in the other two letters, which warned that anyone who comes to the sender’s house will “get shot in the face” and vows to protect a constitutional and God-given right to bear arms.

The text also warned: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you.”

The first two letters were sent to Bloomberg and to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a Bloomberg-financed organization that lobbies and advertises on television for tougher gun laws. Both were postmarked May 20 from Shreveport, La.

Law enforcement sources disclosed the existence of those two letters Wednesday.

Members of a New York police emergency unit who came in contact with the Bloomberg letter late last week are being examined for minor symptoms from ricin exposure that have since abated.

The FBI and New York police are investigating the threats.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded by Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, lobbies state and federal lawmakers. It aired TV ads earlier this year encouraging Congress to expand background checks for gun purchases and to toughen other gun laws.

Bloomberg said on Wednesday that he did not know what motivated the letters but pledged that his gun-control efforts would not be deterred.

“There’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts,” he said.

He added that he did not feel threatened.

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