Deadly poison ricin reportedly detected in mail sent to the Pentagon

The Pentagon is shown in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua RobertsThe Pentagon is shown in Arlington, VirginiaThomson Reuters

  • Mail delivered to the Pentagon has tested positive for ricin, a potentially deadly poison, according to a report from CNN based on discussions with US defense officials.
  • The mail never actually entered the Pentagon but was delivered to a separate building.
  • The FBI is spearheading an investigation into where the mail came from.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines Ricin as a "poison found naturally in castor beans."

Mail delivered to the Pentagon has tested positive for ricin, a potentially deadly poison, according to a report from CNN, which cited US defense officials.

According to the report, the mail never actually entered the Pentagon but was delivered to a separate building - a mail processing system on its grounds.

At least two packages delivered to the Pentagon are suspected to contain ricin, NBC reports. The FBI is reportedly taking the lead on testing the mail and on conducting the overall investigation into where it came from.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines ricin as "a poison found naturally in castor beans."

"If made into a partially purified material or refined into a terrorist or warfare agent, ricin could be used to expose people through the air, food, or water," the CDC said.

Ricin has been used in previous terror attacks.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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