FBI confirms similarity among suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats

New York City Police Dept. officers arrive outside the Time Warner Center, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. A police bomb squad was sent to CNN's offices in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (AP) 10/25 — The Latest on pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and CNN (all times local): 11:10 a.m.  The FBI is confirming packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and actor Robert De Niro are similar in appearance to those used to send bombs to prominent Democrats.

The FBI provided the update in a tweet Thursday morning.

New York City police early Thursday recovered a package addressed to De Niro with the same return address used on the other packages.

A law enforcement official said two packages addressed to Biden were intercepted at Delaware mail facilities in New Castle and Wilmington.

The official wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pipe bombs addressed to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former CIA director John Brennan and former Attorney General Eric Holder have also been intercepted in recent days.

— By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo in Washington.

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This screenshot from CNN’s Twitter account shows what CNN says is the explosive device that was delivered to their New York headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. The package sent to CNN contained a live explosive with wires, a black pipe and an envelope with white powder. Officials said the substance was being tested to see if it was dangerous. (CNN Twitter Account via AP)

 

10:30 a.m.

Law enforcement officials say the suspected explosive device sent to Robert De Niro may have been sitting in the mailroom of his building for a day or more before it was discovered.

Two officials told The Associated Press on Thursday that a person affiliated with the Tribeca Film Center was off work when he saw an image on the Internet and elsewhere of the package containing a crude pipe bomb sent to CNN.

That person, who has a background in law enforcement, recalled seeing a similar package at the film center mailroom earlier and reported it to police.

Emergency service officers were dispatched early Thursday to retrieve it. It had the same return address used on the other packages. An official said it was suspected to have been delivered earlier this week.

The two officials weren’t authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

— By Colleen Long in Washington and Tom Hays in New York.

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9:55 a.m.

A law enforcement official says a second package addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden has been intercepted at a mail facility in Wilmington, Delaware.

The official says it has similar markings and characteristics as the packages containing bombs sent to other prominent Democrats.

The official said another package addressed to Biden was also found Thursday morning, that one at a postal center in New Castle, Delaware.

The official wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Several packages containing pipe bombs packed with shards of glass have been intercepted in the last few days. They targeted Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others.

A New York City police bomb squad has recovered a suspicious package addressed to Robert De Niro.

— By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo

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9:45 a.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the notion that President Donald Trump is responsible for the packages sent to his opponents is “disgraceful.”

She told reporters Thursday there’s a big difference between “comments made and actions taken.”

Suspicious packages addressed to actor Robert De Niro and former Vice President Joe Biden were intercepted Thursday, and investigators said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.

Sanders says the president is not responsible for sending suspicious packages any more than Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, was responsible for one of his supporters shooting up a GOP baseball practice last year in Virginia. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, had posted social media messages suggesting he targeted the team because of his political views.

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9:10 a.m.

One of the targets in a string of mail bombs is telling President Donald Trump to stop blaming others for the anger in society.

The tweet Thursday by former CIA head John Brennan came shortly after Trump tweeted that much of the anger in society is caused by the “purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media.”

Brennan, a frequent critic of Trump, said: “Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential.”

He said “your critics will not be intimidated into silence.”

A package containing a pipe bomb was sent to Brennan but addressed to CNN’s New York office. No one was hurt in that attempted attack or other mail bombs aimed at critics of Trump.

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9 a.m.

Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises says “everyone is safe” after the recovery of a suspicious package addressed to the actor.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that an X-ray showed that the package contained a device similar to others sent to Democratic figures. Investigators say it appears to be from the same sender.

The official was not authorized to speak publicly and therefore talked to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Security personnel at Tribeca Productions summoned police at around 5 a.m. and a bomb squad removed the package.

The company said in a statement on Thursday that its Manhattan building is open and deemed safe.

— By Michael R. Sisak

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Police stand watch near a building associated with Robert DeNiro, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in New York after reports of a suspicious package. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

 

8:30 a.m.

A law enforcement official says a package addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden appears similar to packages containing bombs sent to prominent Democrats and has been intercepted at a Delaware mail facility.

The official wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on the condition of anonymity.

The FBI confirms there is law enforcement activity at the U.S. mail facility in New Castle, Delaware. It says federal agents and New Castle County Police are responding to the facility.

Several packages containing pipe bombs packed with shards of glass have been intercepted in the last few days. They targeted Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others. A New York City police bomb squad has recovered a suspicious package addressed to Robert De Niro.

None of the bombs detonated, and nobody was hurt.

—By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo

___

7:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump has claimed much of the “Anger” in society is “caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media.”

Trump’s tweet Thursday came as law enforcement was investigating pipe bombs and other suspicious packages addressed to prominent Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and to CNN.

Without referring specifically to the rash of explosive devices, Trump said: “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News.” Trump frequently labels stories he doesn’t like as “fake news.”

The president says what he calls “fake news” has gotten bad and the mainstream media must “clean up its act, FAST.”

An explosive sent to CNN prompted the evacuation of the Time Warner Center in New York, but no one was hurt.

___

President Donald Trump speaks about crude pipe bombs targeting Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others, during an event on the opioid crisis, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

7:40 a.m.

A New York City police bomb squad has recovered a suspicious package addressed to Robert DeNiro, and investigators say it may contain a device similar to others sent to Democratic figures, a law enforcement official tells The Associated Press.

Security personnel at Tribeca Productions summoned police at around 5 a.m. on Thursday.

The bomb squad removed the package and took it to a police facility in the Bronx at around 6:30 a.m.

Investigators say it appears to be from the same sender.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.

By Michael R. Sisak

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7:10 a.m.

A New York City police bomb squad has removed a suspicious package from a Manhattan building associated with Robert DeNiro.

A law enforcement source tell The Associated Press that the device found Thursday appeared to be linked to the others sent to Democratic figures and CNN’s New York City hub. The package looked similar to the others and had a similar device inside, the source said.

The NYPD says the device was taken from 375 Greenwich Street in the Tribeca neighborhood around 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

A spokesman said police were called for a report of a suspicious package at the location around 5 a.m.

By Michael R. Sisak in New York

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6:40 a.m.

New York police say they’re responding to reports of a suspicious package.

It’s unclear if the report is related to pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The New York Police Department says Thursday’s report involves the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan. A bomb squad unit on Thursday morning drove in a caravan through the city after leaving the neighborhood.

Authorities said on Wednesday the pipe bombs were packed with shards of glass and were intercepted. None of the seven bombs detonated, and nobody was hurt as authorities in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and California seized the suspicious packages.

One of the explosives was sent to CNN, which prompted the evacuation of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, where CNN has offices.

In this photo taken from video, a police car sits outside the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Chappaqua, N.Y. A U.S. official says a “functional explosive device” was found at the home. (WABC7 via AP)

 

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1 a.m.

A series of pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has deepened political tensions and fears two weeks before national midterm elections.

The pipe bombs were packed with shards of glass and were intercepted. None of the seven bombs detonated, and nobody was hurt as authorities in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and California seized the suspicious packages.

One of the explosives was sent to CNN, which prompted the evacuation of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, where CNN has offices.

The targets of the bombs were some of the figures most frequently criticized by President Donald Trump, who still assails Clinton at rallies while supporters chant “lock her up.” Trump also often singles out CNN as he rails against the “fake news” media.

Trump took a softer tone at a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday, saying, “Let’s get along.”

https://www.apnews.com/e8f3f47dd12b4c1183efc1c2781fb67d

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: ATF - BATFE, Explosives, Investigations, Police, Politics, Terrorism

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