Explosive devices addressed to Hillary Clinton, Obama intercepted; CNN evacuated after suspicious package found
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Explosive devices addressed to Hillary Clinton’s home and the house of former President Barack Obama were intercepted, and the Time Warner Center that is home to CNN in New York City was evacuated after a suspicious package was sent there, officials said.
Investigators are working to determine whether the two devices addressed to Clinton and Obama are connected to a pipe bomb found earlier this week in the home mailbox of billionaire George Soros in the community near where the Clintons live in Chappaqua, New York, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The preliminary belief is that all three devices are of similar pipe-bomb-style construction.
The New York City Police bomb squad was responding to the suspicious package inside the mail room of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle.
Police sources told ABC News that the suspicious package appears to be a metal pipe with wires. Floors above and below the mail room are being evacuated.
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto was on air at the time of the evacuation, and the channel’s news coverage was switched over to their offices in Washington D.C. Sciutto called in to their broadcast and said that he and hundreds of other CNN employees were standing outside, watching a “very fast-acting, quick response group” of NYPD officers responding to the scene.
Responding agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives are also on the scene in Columbus Circle as part of the investigation into the suspicious package sent to CNN. The ATF officials are working alongside the NYPD and other investigators on the scene.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is also involved in the investigation.
The Secret Service stressed that the packages sent to Clinton or Obama did not reach them.
“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.
Bill and Hillary Clinton live in Westchester County north of New York City, and the Obamas in Washington, D.C.
President Trump has been briefed on the suspicious packages sent to the Clinton and Obama homes and the White House has now issued a statement forcefully 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 says 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.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also issued a statement forcefully condemning the “attempted violent attacks.”
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., condemned the incidents as well, drawing on his family’s experience being the target of attempted attacks in the past.
“As someone whose family has directly been the victim of these mail threats I condemn whoever did this regardless of party or ideology. This crap has to stop and I hope they end up in jail for a long time,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
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