February 27th, 2009
02:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Man held after mailing HIV-tainted blood to Obama

Police say blood-stained letters were addressed to President Obama and top aide Rahm Emanuel.
Police say blood-stained letters were addressed to President Obama and top aide Rahm Emanuel.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Ethiopian immigrant with a history of mental health problems is in custody after being accused of mailing a letter with HIV-tainted blood to Barack Obama when he was president-elect, according to court records.

Saad Bedrie Hussein told investigators that he is an admirer of Obama and that the letter - containing his photo, an admission ticket to Obama's election night victory party in Chicago's Grant Park and six index cards containing writing and reddish stains - was his way of seeking government help and tickets to Obama's inauguration.

Hussein, who has HIV, said he "purposely cut one of his fingers with a razor so he could bleed on the letter," according to an affidavit by Terry L. Cullivan, an investigator with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The letter, postmarked December 27 and written in an Ethiopian language, was addressed to Obama at the Illinois Department on Aging in Springfield, Illinois. When the letter was opened two days later, it was found to contain an orange powder, Cullivan said. A state employee then took the letter to another state office, resulting in a two-hour lockdown of the building, affecting more than 300 people, the affidavit says.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Tes

    I see lots of ignorance and arrogance on this page. Please read the lines in the article, this man is sick..he needs help. Period. Please there are many Ethiopians who are very proud of Obama and US.

    February 27, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. sniffitsdad

    maybe they're just kidding around.

    By the way my son is a "receiver."

    February 27, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Joe

    Too bad the plan failed. The stock market will be under 6000 soon. Obama is making my money disappear, I wish someone would make him disappear.

    February 27, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    The monkey, the watermelon on the whitehouse lawn, and now tainted blood. The first family had better be protected or the rodney king riots or 68' riots will be nothing compared to the Obama riots.

    February 27, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Polly

    Weirdo. Seems like we're now beginning to hear about the weirdo's who like to wear white sheets and burn crosses and now someone who likes to share his blood and what Tang mix? There's a lot of "mentally" disturbed people out there. I would suggest that Obama might want to save enough money for the prisons, in case we need to lock the weirdo's and hatemongers up.

    February 27, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Buckeye

    The guy is obviously a nut. How did such a mental case get into our country?

    February 27, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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