WHAT TO KNOW
Officials are investigating a series of apparent explosive devices sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros, CNN and Eric Holder
Five parcels had a return address linking to a high-profile Democratic party member; at least one of them also had a white powder envelope
The flurry of incidents come less than 48 hours after bomb was planted in mailbox at billionaire philanthropist Soros’ NY home
Five “potential explosive devices” sent to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, billionaire George Soros, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder and CNN at NYC’s Time Warner Center are thought to be linked, law enforcement sources say — and officials are looking into whether one addressed to California Rep. Maxine Waters in Washington, D.C., has a similar signature.
Two of the five devices — one addressed to Clinton’s Chappaqua home, one to Obama in Washington, D.C. — were intercepted by the U.S. Secret Service. Both were discovered at off-site locations and neither the former secretary of state nor former president were ever at risk, officials said.
Another of the packages — one addressed to ex-CIA chief John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor — that appeared similar to the others forced an evacuation of CNN at the Time Warner Center Wednesday. NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the device appeared to be a “live explosive.” He also said there was an envelope with white powder in the original packaging; that powder is being tested. Mayor de Blasio said there are no additional credible threats.
It was at that briefing that Gov. Cuomo revealed his Manhattan office had received a similar package, which law enforcement later determined was not at all linked to the others. A senior law enforcement official told News 4 the item was a threatening letter, not a device, that referenced the Proud Boys street brawl from earlier this month. There was no explosive, the official said. A second official confirmed no device was mailed to the governor’s office.
A Cuomo spokesman later issued a statement saying the item appeared to contain computer files on the Proud Boys.
Also Wednesday afternoon, congressional leadership sources confirmed to NBC News that a suspicious device intercepted at a mail processing facility for the U.S. Capitol was addressed to Waters. That device’s nature, and possible connection to the others, remains under investigation.
Law enforcement officials say all of the five linked parcels — those addressed to Clinton, Obama, Soros, Brennan and Holder — had a manila outer packaging and the devices had stamps on them. The devices appear to be working explosives, sources say, but final analysis is pending further testing. News 4 obtained an image of one of the devices; it appeared to be crude.
The signature is nearly the same on those five packages and all listed the return address as one belonging to ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There is no suggestion Schultz had any involvement, law enforcement officials say. A device was also found at her Sunrise, Florida, office, which was the return address listed.
Investigators believe that was the package addressed to Holder; it appears it may have had the wrong address, which is why it was shipped back to the nominal sender (Schultz’s return address).
An officer with the local police department in Florida where Schultz’s office is located said the package had been removed by early afternoon and the bomb squad was “rendering it safe.” He declined to say whether a live explosive had been in the package and warned, “There may be noise, there may not be noise.”