WASHINGTON – The US Secret Service announced on Tuesday that its agents intercepted a “suspicious envelope” being sent to President Donald Trump and that it is investigating the matter, shortly after the Pentagon reported that it had seized another package containing the deadly toxin ricin at its mail screening facility.
The Secret Service, which is the agency that protects the president and his family, said in a statement that on Monday it detected “a suspicious enveloped addressed to the president.”
“The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House,” the Secret Service said.
Although normally the Secret Service does not comment on security matters, it said that “in this instance, we can confirm that we are working jointly with our law enforcement partners to fully investigate this matter. Further, all threats directed towards the President, or any Secret Service protectee, are treated seriously and fully investigated.”
The agency provided no details about the possible contents of the envelope or where it originated, but the report comes on the same day that the Pentagon revealed that it had intercepted a suspicious package that, according to preliminary analysis, contained ricin, a powerful poison.
The package, which at no time actually entered the Pentagon but rather was intercepted on Monday at a mail sorting facility in one of its neighboring buildings, was detected by agents of the defense headquarters security force, a department spokesman, Col. Robert Manning, said in a statement.
“On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon’s remote screening facility,” said Manning, adding that “All USPS mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility yesterday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel.”
The package was turned over to the FBI for additional analyses.
Ricin, which is extracted from castor beans, after specific treatment is highly poisonous and has been used by the Al Qaeda terrorist group to carry out biological attacks.