Ricin detected in mail sent to Trump, Pentagon

AFP  File | Ricin is lethal in minute doses if swallowed inhaled or injected

At least two packages suspected of containing the deadly poison ricin have been sent to the Pentagon this week.

A defense official told AFP the packages were addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Navy chief Admiral John Richardson.

The Pentagon packages, which were delivered Monday, were intercepted before making it into the headquarters of the Defense Department, spokesman Chris Sherwood said.

Two letters addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and another military official tested positive for the toxin ricin at a Pentagon mail sorting facility, the U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday.

"The Secret Service can confirm receipt of a suspicious envelope addressed to the President on October 1, 2018", the Secret Service said in a statement. Both envelopes were tested by the force protection agency and came out positive initially for ricin. "As this is ongoing, we will have no further comment", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, ccording to CNN.

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Ms Frazier said the package was opened in the lobby, and that the authorities locked down the lobby and elevator for a couple of hours.

Ricin is found naturally in castor beans but it takes a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon.

"Ricin poisoning is not contagious", the CDC says.

'The Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon's remote screening facility.

The mail facility is separate from the Pentagon building, ensuring the more than 20,000 employees there were never exposed to the letters.

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