Explosive devices sent to Maxine Waters, Robert De Niro similar to those sent to Obama, Clinton
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A suspicious package sent to Rep. Maxine Waters in California contained a live explosive device, ABC News has confirmed.
The package, discovered last night in Los Angeles, is similar to ones sent to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. A similar-looking package also may have been sent to Joe Biden, sources told ABC News.
The package possibly sent to Biden is considered the eighth possible packaged explosive in this domestic terrorism investigation. Packages also were sent to CNN’s headquarters in New York and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
A ninth potential device was discovered early Thursday morning in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, ABC News confirmed. It was addressed to Robert De Niro. New York police removed the device in a bomb containment vehicle.
Law enforcement officials told ABC News the contents of at least five of the packages resembled pipe bombs intended to maim or kill. The packages — bubble-wrap-lined manila envelopes with computer-printed labels — were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.
Several of the packages listed as a return address that of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., but her name was misspelled.
The deliveries of explosives come about two days after a pipe bomb was found in the New York home of billionaire George Soros, a Democratic supporter often criticized by right-wing groups.
“The FBI advises the public to remain vigilant and not touch, move or handle any suspicious or unknown packages,” the FBI said in a statement Wednesday evening. “We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI.”
The package addressed to Hillary Clinton was intercepted Tuesday night by the Secret Service at a screening facility. It didn’t reach her home in Westchester County.
All packages were intercepted before reaching their intended targets. It’s not entirely clear whether the incidents are linked, but authorities said they feared other bombs may have been sent.
Bryan Paarmann, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the mailings appear to be political in nature.
“The utilization of violence in order to further one’s own political agenda is unacceptable to us,” Paarmann said. “We will turn over every rock, we will turn every corner, and we will talk to everybody that we have to in order to mitigate this threat.”
President Trump on Wednesday night called for “peace and harmony” from a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, but added, “The media has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks in stories.”
Also on Wednesday, from the White House, Trump said his administration is “extremely angry” about the incidents, adding that “the full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice.”
Democratic leaders noted that most of the people targeted on Tuesday had been ridiculed by Trump.
“We listened with great interest to the president’s remarks this afternoon. We all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and protect the American people, and that is our first responsibility. However, President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said in a joint statement released Wednesday afternoon. “Time and time again, the president has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions: expressing support for the Congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protesters, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people.”
Hillary Clinton, speaking at a campaign event in Florida, said, “We are fine, thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package addressed to us long before it reached our home.”
“But it is a troubling time, isn’t it?” Clinton added. “And it’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can to bring our country together.”
Security was tight at the event in Coral Gables where she spoke. Her daughter tweeted thanks to the Secret Service for not letting the package reach her mother.
“Every day, I am grateful to the women and men of the United States Secret Service,” Chelsea Clinton wrote. “Thank you.”
Her father also tweeted about it.
ABC News has confirmed the following:
— A pipe bomb was found Monday afternoon in the home mailbox of Soros in Westchester County north of New York City.
— A package addressed to Hillary Clinton containing an explosive was intercepted Tuesday night by the Secret Service at a screening facility. It never reached her home, where Bill Clinton was at the time.
— A package containing an explosive and suspicious powder was found Wednesday morning in the mailroom of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, where CNN is located. It was addressed to John Brennan, former director of the CIA. New York City police officers were present when it was found.
— The package addressed to Holder did not reach its intended destination and was returned to Wasserman Schultz’s address in Florida, the FBI said.
— The devices found in New York, Washington and Florida were all similarly constructed, using digital clocks as a switch, a powder charge and a battery power source, law enforcement sources told ABC News. They were built using PVC pipe and contained materials likely intended to do additional harm.
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