Two packages sent to Pentagon test positive for ricin

October 2, 2018

Two packages that initially tested positive for ricin were sent to a Pentagon official Monday and are now undergoing further testing by the FBI.

The packages, addressed to an unnamed Defense Department official, were contained at a mail screening facility outside the main Pentagon complex.

“On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon’s remote screening facility. The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a statement. “All USPS mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility yesterday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel.”

Officials said the packages never made it inside the Pentagon itself.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ricin is a poison naturally found in castor beans that can cause injury if swallowed. Unintentional exposure to the substance, the government says, is virtually impossible.

“It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people,” the CDC says on its website.

Update hourly