Packages Destined to Pentagon, White House Tested for Poison

Packages Destined to Pentagon, White House Tested for Poison

Neither package entered the Pentagon, and they were both turned over to the FBI for further analysis, according to authorities.

Initial analysis of two suspicious letters sent to the Pentagon has tested positive for the deadly poison ricin. Another suspicious envelope sent to President Trump, which was intercepted before reaching the White House, is still undergoing investigation by the Secret Service.

Authorities at a Pentagon mail screening facility found on Monday two envelopes suspected of containing Ricin, a poison made from castor beans. One letter was addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and the other was addressed to Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson.

Neither package entered the Pentagon, and they were both turned over to the FBI for further analysis, according to authorities. Investigators are currently trying to learn whether the packages were sent by one person or a group.

Currently, all U.S. Postal Service mail received at the Pentagon’s mail delivery facility, which is on the Pentagon grounds but separate from the main building, is under quarantine and “poses no threat to Pentagon personnel,” according to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning.

According to bioweapons experts, field tests are inconclusive and authorities must perform lab tests to confirm that the substance is indeed ricin. Ricin can only be manufactured deliberately, and can cause death in 36-72 hours.

Another suspicious letter was sent to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign office in Houston on Monday, but tested negative for any dangerous substance. It is unclear whether the incidents are connected, but no injuries have been reported thus far.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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