CNN’s New York offices have also been evacuated.
Two days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, police and Secret Service have reportedly found two more suspicious packages: one at the office of former President Barack Obama, and another near the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York.
CNN was evacuated Wednesday morning due to a bomb threat and a possible “explosive device,” the network reported, and it’s possible other packages were received by other public figures: Another suspicious package arrived at the Florida office of US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, according to the FBI.
It’s not clear what the connection is among the attempted attacks — or even if they’re related at all. Here’s what we know so far.
What we know
- Late Tuesday night, a suspicious package was discovered near the property of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home in upstate New York by an employee who checks the Clintons’ incoming mail, according to the Secret Service.
- According to ABC News, law enforcement stated that the package contained a “potentially workable explosive device.”
- Early Wednesday morning, a second suspicious package was sent to former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in Washington, DC, but was intercepted by Secret Service, according to a statement from the agency.
- According to the Secret Service, the packages were discovered during routine screenings as “potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.”
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 24, 2018
- The New York Times reports that the devices were similar to the one found on Monday at the home of Soros in a New York City suburb. According to the Times, that device was “constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder, and it was ‘proactively detonated’ by bomb squad technicians.”
- NBC News obtained an image of one of the devices. FBI official Bryan Paarmann said at a press conference on Wednesday in New York that the devices appeared to be pipe bombs.
NBC News Exclusive: Below is a photo of one of the suspicious devices intercepted by law enforcement and obtained by NBC News: pic.twitter.com/sB9D8dhhaW
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) October 24, 2018
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House condemns the “attempted violent attacks” and called them “terrorizing acts” that are “despicable.” President Donald Trump said he “wholeheartedly” agrees with Vice President Mike Pence’s condemnation of the incidents.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 24, 2018
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
- CNN’s New York office was also evacuated, with anchor Jim Sciutto tweeting that the police bomb squad was there and they’d been told of an explosive device being received. The NYPD said it was investigating a suspicious package near Columbus Circle, where CNN’s office at the Time Warner Center is located.
Breaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We’re told of explosive device received. @CNNnewsroom
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 24, 2018
- CNN, citing three sources, reports that the package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan — who is a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, but not CNN.
- NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference that there was white powder found inside the package found at CNN. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incidents were an “effort to terrorize.”
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the same conference said a package had been sent to his office in Manhattan. The NYPD later said it was unrelated, and there was no device of any kind.
The earlier suspicious package at Governor Cuomo’s office in midtown has been cleared by NYPD personnel. It was unrelated. And there was no device of any kind
— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) October 24, 2018
- The FBI said a suspicious package had been sent to Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office.
WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI confirms ‘suspicious package’ went to Rep. Wasserman Schultz’ office in Sunrise, FL.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 24, 2018
- According to ABC News, Wasserman Schultz was listed as the return address for the Brennan package delivered to CNN.
— Gio Benitez (@GioBenitez) October 24, 2018
- Trump, speaking at an event on opioids at the White House on Wednesday, said that the safety of the American people is his “highest and absolute priority.” He said it was a time to “unify,” adding that “acts of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” Trump, who was briefed on the incidents ahead of his remarks, said a “major federal investigation” is being conducted.
What we don’t know
- The full list of who was sent packages.
- The identity of the sender or senders.
- Their motive(s).
- How the packages were delivered.
- Details about the explosive devices themselves.
- Whether all of the incidents and devices are related.
Author: Jane Coaston