Explosive devices were found in mail addressed to Barack Obama in Washington and Hillary Clinton in suburban New York City, the US Secret Service said today (Oct. 24).
Similar devices were later found at the New York offices of CNN. Another suspicious package was sent to the Florida office of former Democratic National Convention chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a California building that houses an office of Democratic senator Kamala Harris and a San Diego newspaper.
Clinton and Obama
The Secret Service said it had “intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees” Obama, the former president, and Clinton, the onetime secretary of state who ran against Donald Trump in 2016 as the Democratic presidential candidate.
The devices were similar to the one found Oct. 22 in the Westchester County, New York mailbox of George Soros, the philanthropist and political activist who supports international pro-democracy efforts, a law-enforcement source told the New York Times. The home of Soros, a frequent target of far-right rhetoric, in Bedford is not far from the home of Hillary and Bill Clinton in Chappaqua.
Clinton, Soros, Obama, and CNN each have been targets of vitriol and false accusations by Donald Trump and the Republican party. Crowds at Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rallies still chant “Lock Her Up” when he mentions Hillary Clinton and Trump’s son Don Jr. is among his supporters claiming falsely that Soros had funded and organized a march of migrants from Central America through Mexico toward the US border.
The Secret Service said the packages at both the Obama and Clinton residences “were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”
Time Warner evacuated
CNN’s New York City headquarters in the Time Warner building were evacuated after a suspicious package was delivered.
The device mailed to CNN was later identified as an explosive device, which was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan. Brennan is a security analyst on MSNBC.
Wasserman Schultz and Kamala Harris
Wasserman Schultz’s office in Sunrise, Florida was evacuated after a suspicious device was found there, according to local news reports. CNN reports that a package misaddressed to Eric Holder, the former attorney general, was returned by mail to Wasserman Schultz’s office because that was the return address.
So was the headquarters of the San Diego Union Tribune, after “after a stack of suspicious looking packages was spotted near the front doors,” the paper reported. The building also houses an office for Democratic Senator Kamala Harris:
San Diego police said within an hour that the packages were “were filled with everyday items,” the paper reported.
The New York governor said Wednesday afternoon that a device was sent to his Manhattan office that fits the “pattern” of other devices.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if additional devices have been sent,” Cuomo said. However, later New York Police said it was an “unrelated” package.
Capitol Hill Police found a suspicious package addressed to the Democratic Congresswoman from California, ABC reports.
White House response
In a statement this morning, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures. These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.”