Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and the New York CNN offices were among the recipients of suspicious packages containing IEDs Wednesday morning. The threats to the former Democratic presidents were intercepted by authorities before reaching the intended targets.
According to law enforcement, both packages contained “rudimentary but functional” explosives that were similar to another sent to well-known Democratic donor George Soros earlier this week. Packages were addressed to Barack and Michelle Obama’s Washington D.C. residence and the Clintons’ New York state home. Throughout the morning, several more packages were reported including ones at the CNN offices, The San Diego Union-Tribune offices and the office of a Democratic congresswoman.
The first reports to come out were the ones of a suspicious device at the CNN New York bureau.
We just evacuated CNN NY office in the middle of our show. We are with our CNN colleagues. Potential explosive device received here. @cnn
— Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) October 24, 2018
— Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) October 24, 2018
Thank you for the well-wishing. We will get through all the ugliness together. People said I was being dramatic about the risk last night…how many more dirty mail packages need to be sent? All this negativity must be countered. https://t.co/X5IRdME9XA
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) October 24, 2018
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) October 24, 2018
Shortly after CNN reported that the explosive at their New York offices was transported away from the area in a containment unit, more reports of a suspicious package emerged, this time at the San Diego offices of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Writer and editor at the outlet, Abby Hamblin, tweeted out a photo of the situation around noon on Wednesday. The package was reportedly found outside the building on top of a trash can earlier in the morning.
The entire block around the building where The San Diego Union-Tribune is in downtown San Diego is roped off and I saw people were evacuated from the building. More info when we can get it. pic.twitter.com/6i1LuPlMJc
— Abby Hamblin (@abbyhamblin) October 24, 2018
Yet another package was sent to an office building in Sunrise City, Florida where Democratic Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is located. The building was also evacuated and the Bomb Squad is currently still in the process of investigating the threat.
Breaking: Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office evacuated after suspicious package mailed there this morning
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 24, 2018
There was a false report earlier in the morning that another package addressed to the White House was intercepted, but the Secret Service has since set the record straight that they did not intercept any such package.
CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages – one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect. We refer media to our statement: https://t.co/lJdTn04KmI
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 24, 2018
The first package, in what seems to be related incidents, was sent to George Soros’ New York home and was found by an employee in his mailbox late Monday afternoon. The employee placed the suspicious device in a wooded area and called authorities who sent in the Westchester County bomb squad to detonate the package. The case was referred to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
George Soros is a billionaire investor who donates generously to Democratic political campaigns. He has been labeled as somewhat of a Democratic Boogie Man by political opponents and is frequently a target of conspiracy theories propagated by far-right groups. Most recently, he was accused (without evidence) by President Donald Trump of paying actors to protest the Supreme Court hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and for funding the migrant caravan currently making its way through Mexico to the American border.
There is still no word on who is sending these devices, but there is an obvious pattern unfolding as people and and organizations that have been vilified by the far-right are targeted. Vice President Mike Pence tweeted out that he condemns the attempted terrorist attacks and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement on behalf of the president and the White House. Donald Trump concurred with Pence’s sentiments.
We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 24, 2018
Statement on suspicious packages: pic.twitter.com/pYSbDvCvuk
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) October 24, 2018
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018