Pentagon finds poisonous mail sent to Mattis, chief of naval operations
Washington : Two pieces of mail tested positive for ricin by the Pentagon mail facility were addressed to US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, the Defense News reported.
The FBI, which is leading the investigation, is expected to conduct a second test to confirm the initial finding on Tuesday.
Ricin, a poison found in castor beans, can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form. If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines and can be deadly.
"On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon's remote screening facility," Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.
"All USPS mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility yesterday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel," Manning said.
The substance "is suspected to be ricin," said Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood.
Pentagon's mail facility is located in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon, and not within the Pentagon building.