Arrest Made in Connection to Mailed Pipe Bombs
The federal authorities are investigating the source of suspicious packages sent to former President Barack Obama and Former Secretary of State Clinton.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Oct 26, 2018
[UPDATE: October 26, 2018, 10:30 a.m.]
Authorities have taken an individual into custody in connection to the mailed pipe bombs addressed to prominent public figures.
The suspect in the crimes is described as a 56-year-old man and was arrested in Plantation, Fla.
It has been reported that the authorities were lead to the suspect through identifying a common area where the packages were mailed from and DNA evidence found on the packages.
It is not clear at this time if this suspect in custody is the only perpetrator in the investigation.
[UPDATE: October 26, 2018, 9:18 a.m.]
Two more packages containing explosive devices were discovered Friday morning. One package was found in Florida and addressed to Sen. Cory Booker, and another was found in New York, addressed to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence but at CNN's New York offices, officials said. This is the second explosive device to be addressed to CNN this week.
The latest packages bring the total number of packages addressed to prominent public figures to twelve.
[UPDATE: October 25, 2018 8:00 a.m.]
Authorities believe there are more suspicious packages addressed to prominent public figures, according to the FBI who has now intercepted seven manilla envelopes filled with an explosive device made out of a pipe and wires. Some packages have been said to contain a white power substance as well.
On Thursday morning, federal authorities have confirmed that two more suspicious packages have been intercepted. One addressed to Former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware and another addressed to actor Robert De Niro in New York City. These packages are said to contain similar materials to the packages sent to Former President Barack Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Investor George Soros, Former CIA Director John Brennan, Former Attorney General Eric Holder (returned to sender Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz) and Rep. Maxine Waters.
Authorities have confirmed they have intercepted two different packages addressed to Waters.
The package intended for Biden was misaddressed and was being returned to the sender when it was intercepted. The package addressed to De Niro was found in a Manhattan apartment building and was carefully taken from the premises.
Law enforcement will continue to treat the series of bombs as a domestic terror matter and are advising the public to remain vigilant. The FBI's counterterrorism division is leading the investigation into the packages and the agency says it is possible additional packages were mailed to other locations.
While the motive is still unknown, the recipient of the packages give insight into why certain public figures were targeted.
[UPDATE: October 24, 2018 2:00 p.m.]
Authorities have confirmed the package sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo was not connected to the other suspicious packages sent to public figures. The envelop included a USB drive and was not found to be hazardous in any way.
Law enforcement have also found another suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters. The package was intercepted at a Congressional mail sorting facility in Maryland and is thought to be connected with the packages sent to Obama, Clinton, CNN and Wasserman.
Here are the names of the public figures who have had a package addressed to them:
- Investor George Soros
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Former President Barack Obama
- CNN / Former CIA Director John Brennan
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder (This package was returned to the sender, which was labeled as Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz)
- Rep. Maxine Waters
[UPDATE: October 24, 2018 12:30 p.m.]
The FBI has confirmed another suspicious package containing an explosive device was addressed to Former DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says a suspicious package has been intercepted at his offices as well.
The suspicious package that was found at CNN's New York offices was taken away from the building and is said to have contained a device made with a pipe and wires.
“What we saw here today was effort to terrorize," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "This clearly is an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence.”
Original story below.
Suspicious packages addressed to Former President Barack Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been intercepted by the U.S. Secret Service. The packages are thought to contain explosive devices.
According to the Secret Service, the first package was recovered at the address of Clinton in Westchester, New York and the second addressed Obama in Washington D.C.
"The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said in a statement. 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."
The Secret Service and the FBI are investigating the packages, which are thought to be connected to the suspicious package that was found at the home of George Soros in Bedford, New York.
In addition to the packages sent to public figures, CNN says their offices in Manhattan have been evacuated due to a suspicious package as well. The news network reported that a police bomb squad was at its offices.
While authorities have not confirmed that the packages are related, the agencies will, out of an abundance of caution, move forward in their investigation believing that they are connected.
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the suspicious packages and the White House sent out a statement condemning the "attempted violent attacks."
"We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and other public figures," Sarah Sanders said in the statement. "These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be help accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and we will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards."
Media reports initially thought that there was a possible fourth package that was en route to the White House. Those reports were false.
This is a developing story. Please follow @SecurToday on Twitter for updates.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.