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CNN Explains: Ricin

CNN's Tom Foreman gets down to the bottom of the toxin ricin and how it affects the body.

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 1:54 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 1:54 PM

An envelope addressed to President Donald Trump contained a substance suspected to be ricin and appeared to be connected to similar envelopes sent to the Pentagon, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Two pieces of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday have initially tested positive for ricin, according to a US defense official.

When asked about the letters sent to the Pentagon, a Secret Service spokesman told CNN that "the Secret Service can confirm receipt of a suspicious envelope addressed to the President on Oct. 1, 2018."

"The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House," the spokesman continued.

The two suspicious envelopes sent to the Pentagon were addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and to chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, the official told CNN.

The mail facility is in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon, and the two pieces of mail that tested positive never entered the Pentagon building.

All US Postal Service mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility on Monday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel, according to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning.

"On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon's remote screening facility," Manning said in a statement.

"The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis," Manning added.

The FBI issued a statement saying it has taken possession of two suspicious envelopes screened at the Pentagon mail facility and they are undergoing more testing.

"On Tuesday, October, 2, 2018, in coordination with the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, FBI Special Agents took possession of two suspicious envelopes that had been screened at the Pentagon mail facility. Those envelopes are currently undergoing further testing. As this is ongoing, we will have no further comment."

The Secret Service spokesman said the agency was working with law enforcement partners to investigate the envelopes addressed to Trump and that all threats directed toward a Secret Service protectee "are treated seriously and fully investigated."

Ricin is a highly toxic compound that is extracted from castor beans and has been used in terror plots. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form.

If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
Lauderdale6837226
Lowndes6032140
Lamar589680
Lafayette5740113
Washington5220130
Bolivar4616124
Oktibbeha441593
Panola431995
Pearl River4178131
Warren4134115
Pontotoc410571
Marshall403592
Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3552104
Hancock348975
Leflore3380118
Sunflower318986
Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
Itawamba290175
Coahoma281169
Tippah279265
Copiah278758
Simpson276280
Prentiss270258
Wayne254341
Leake252871
Marion252778
Covington249580
Grenada247878
Adams234678
George232145
Newton230852
Winston221877
Jasper213645
Tishomingo212665
Attala206669
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
Amite111734
Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
Claiborne98829
Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
Etowah13379320
Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
Elmore9451185
Limestone9413136
St. Clair9003225
Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
Dale4657107
Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
Choctaw55123
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