NEW YORK -- A letter sent to the White House was similar to poison-laced missives mailed to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to his gun-control group in Washington that contained threats about shooting people in the face, officials said Thursday.
The Secret Service said the letter addressed to President Barack Obama was intercepted by a White House mail screening facility, and it was turned over to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation.
Officials previously revealed that two threatening letters postmarked in Louisiana and sent to Bloomberg contained traces of the deadly poison ricin.
New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the letters apparently all came from the same machine. The letters sent to Bloomberg contained an oily pinkish-orange substance. It wasn't clear if the missive to Obama contained the same substance.
The body of the letter was addressed to "you" and referenced the gun law debate. Kelly said the letters say, in so many words: "Anyone who comes for my guns will be shot in the face." He refused to quote directly from the letters, saying he didn't want to do the author's bidding.
The billionaire mayor has emerged as one of the country's most potent gun-control advocates, able to press his case with both his public position and his private money.
The anonymous letters to Bloomberg were opened in New York on Friday at the city's mail facility in Manhattan and in Washington on Sunday at an office used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit he started, police said Wednesday.
Testing indicated the presence of ricin in both letters. The postal workers' union, citing information it got in a Postal Service briefing, said the letters bore a Shreveport, La., postmark. Kelly would not comment on the origin of the letter.
Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Julie Lewis said state authorities have deferred to the FBI and have not opened an investigation. The Shreveport postal center handles mail from Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, so the letter could have come from any of those states, Lewis said.