The Pentagon said on Tuesday it had received mail suspected of containing the deadly poison ricin, including an envelope that a U.S. official said was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
The Pentagon said in a statement it had put its mail facility under quarantine and that the FBI was analyzing the envelopes.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the envelopes initially tested positive for ricin after being detected by Pentagon police on Monday at a mail sorting facility.
The facility is on the Pentagon compound but not in the main building.
Ricin is found naturally in castor beans but it takes a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon. Ricin can cause death within 36 to 72 hours from exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead. No known antidote exists.
U.S. government building have sporadically received packages with suspected ricin, including in 2013, when ricin-laced letters were addressed to a U.S. senator, the White House and a Mississippi justice official.
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, letters containing another deadly substance – anthrax spores – were mailed to the Washington offices of two senators and to media outlets in New York and Florida.
Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by James Dalgleish
How Trump’s limited intellectual development has given him a ‘God complex’
Trump's lack of respect for the country's long-standing democratic norms and institutions also extends to America's alliances, security arrangements with its allies and friends, and the international order more broadly. To that end Trump has threatened to remove the U.S. from NATO, hailed the merits of nationalism (while barely pretending that does not mean white nationalism), tried to surrender U.S. security to Russian President Vladimir Putin and proclaimed on numerous occasions that America will now stand (mostly) alone in the world.
This story first ran at Salon in November of 2018.
Danish media crushes ‘questionable real estate agent’ Trump for his ‘absurd’ snub of their country
President Donald Trump has found himself getting skewered by the Danish media after he abruptly canceled a planned meeting with the Danish prime minister after she refused to sell Greenland to the United States.
Copenhagen-based newspaper Berlingske on Wednesday published several articles and editorials that took Trump to task for snubbing an important European ally because it would not entertain selling him Greenland.
The paper's lead editorial, for example, declared Trump's cancellation "absurd" and said that he was deeply harming his country's relationship with Denmark.
Amid recession warnings, Trump reportedly considering more tax cuts for rich and corporations
"Two of Trump's ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn't do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation. It's tax cuts for the rich all the way down."
While continuing to publicly downplay warning signs that the U.S. economy is barreling toward a recession, the Trump White House is reportedly weighing a number of supposed stimulus measures, including more tax cuts for the rich and large corporations.