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'Potential explosive devices' sent to Obama, Clinton homes; CNN building evacuated over suspicious package

Wednesday - 24/10/2018 10:59
The Secret Service has “initiated a full scope criminal investigation” to “determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”
A mailbox stands in front of the Bedford, N.Y., residence of billionaire George Soros on Tuesday. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A mailbox stands in front of the Bedford, N.Y., residence of billionaire George Soros on Tuesday. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The U.S. Secret Service said on Wednesday that it had intercepted a pair of suspicious packages addressed to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A third suspicious package found in the mail room of Time Warner Center in New York City forced the evacuation of the building, which houses CNN’s New York bureau.

The package addressed to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., was recovered late Tuesday, the Secret Service said in a statement to Yahoo News. A second package addressed to Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, D.C., early Wednesday. The Secret Service screens all mail addressed to its protectees; the Clintons and Obamas have had Secret Service detail since serving in the White House.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the statement read. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

The Secret Service has “initiated a full scope criminal investigation” to “determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”

The Clintons’ Chappaqua, N.Y., home. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)
The Clintons’ Chappaqua, N.Y., home. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)

The discovery of the three packages comes just two days after a pipe bomb was found in the Bedford, N.Y., mailbox of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Soros, like the Clintons, lives in Westchester County. According to the New York Times, the device sent to the Clintons was similar to the one sent to Soros, a liberal donor who has long been the target of conservative conspiracies.

Officials told ABC News that the devices found in packages addressed to Soros, Clinton and Obama “appear to be of similar pipe bomb style construction.”

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for New Castle Police Department said its officers assisted Secret Service and the FBI’s New York field office after the package was found near the Clintons’ home.

In a statement, the FBI said its Joint Terrorism Task Force was “engaged with our federal, state and local partners” in the investigation.

A mailbox stands in front of the Bedford, N.Y., residence of billionaire George Soros on Tuesday. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A mailbox stands in front of the Bedford, N.Y., residence of billionaire George Soros on Tuesday. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “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.”

“It’s OK to disagree in politics,” Sanders told reporters. “But it’s never OK to take action against another individual.”

Later Wednesday morning, Time Warner Center was evacuated after a suspicious package was discovered in the mail room. An alarm in the building went off as CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were reporting on the discovery of a suspicious package reportedly sent to the White House live on the air.

They continued reporting from their cell phones after they were evacuated.

The NYPD confirmed its special operations unit was investigating a suspicious package in Columbus Circle, where the Time Warner Center is located.

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