Packages that may contain ricin found on Pentagon grounds

Packages that may contain ricin found on Pentagon grounds

According to CNN national security reporter Ryan Browne, the packages were addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson.

The mail distribution center where the mail arrived and was flagged isn't in the Pentagon but nearby, the officials said.

Pentagon authorities found the packages during screening on Monday and turned the envelopes over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today, officials said. The mail initially caused suspicions because it contained a sticky substance, per a defense official.

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The packages were sent to someone inside the Pentagon but triggered the alarms at the mail processing facility, DOD spokesman Chris Sherwood told reporters on Tuesday. "As this is ongoing, we will have no further comment".

Multiple reports indicate that two pieces of mail addressed to the Pentagon are suspected of containing ricin - a highly toxic agent which has been used in the past for terror plots. Days later, an envelope with ricin was sent to President Barack Obama.

The mail facility is in a separate building and the packages never entered the Pentagon itself, CNN reported. A third letter was also mailed to Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland in Mississippi. That same year, US counterterrorism officials said they were increasingly tracking the possibility that al-Qaida would use ricin in attacks against the United States.

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