A serial bomber is feared to be on the loose after pipe bombs were sent to Barack Obama, the Clintons and CNN.
Suspect packages were also sent to ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schutz’s Florida office, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday. This happened three days after a pipe bomb was left in the mailbox of billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros.
Bomb squad technicians rushed to CNN’s Manhattan office on 24 October morning after the device was reported. It was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who contributes to rival networks MSNBC and NBC.
An envelope containing suspicious white powder was also enclosed in the package. The suspicious package sent to the Clintons’ house in Chappaqua, upstate New York, was found on 23 October by a Secret Service technician who screens mail addressed to Hillary and her former president husband Bill.
Both devices were reportedly ‘rudimentary but functional’ with at least one of them said to contain ‘projectiles’. A similar device was sent to the office of Mr Obama around the same time and was also intercepted by Secret Service agents.
Shortly afterwards, CNN’s Manhattan office was evacuated after a suspicious package was found. NYPD bomb squad technicians have rushed to the network’s Columbus Circle office.
Donald Trump spoke out against the packages by replying to Twitter condemnation from Vice President Mike Pence with the words ‘I agree wholeheartedly.’ Pence wrote: ‘We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.’
The president later issued a more forceful disapproval of the attempted bombings, saying: ‘This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans. ‘We’re extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it.’
Shortly after the Clinton and Obama bombs were found, a Secret Service spokesman said they had ‘intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees.’
The spokesman added: ‘The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.
‘The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.’
The service also says that it has launched a criminal investigation that will ‘leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.’
Photo Credit: Obama White House