Ricin, a deadly poison was mailed to the offices of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Navy’s top officer, Admiral John Richardson on Monday, according to a report.
“Initial tests were positive for ricin, a posion [sic] made from castor beans, but the FBI is now currently doing analysis to make final determinations,” a Pentagon spokesman said according to the report. “The packages never made their way into the Pentagon, but were flagged in a mail delivery building next door.”
“On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon’s remote screening facility,” Col. Rob Manning said. “The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis. All USPS mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility yesterday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel.”
According to another report, two people who work in the campaign office of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) were exposed to a white powdery substance and are currently undergoing tests at a local hospital in Houston.
“A hazardous materials response team was dispatched to Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign office in Houston on Tuesday morning to investigate a mailed envelope that contained a white powdery substance,” the report said. “Multiple fire trucks and at least one hazmat truck were spotted on the scene after the letter was opened by campaign staff and reported to authorities.”
Authorities have not determined whether the substance sent to Cruz’s office was toxic.
Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force
The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.
“On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”
The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.
The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.
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