A third suspicious package that police said “appeared to be a live explosive device” was received on Wednesday at the New York City offices of Cable News Network (CNN) at the Time Warner building, in addition to those that were intercepted by the FBI after having been sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
The entire CNN complex on Columbus Circle, which houses a shopping mall, restaurants and other offices, was evacuated, as were adjacent buildings as well.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 24, 2018
New York Police said in a statement that an envelope of white powder was sent to the Manhattan bureau of Cable News Network (CNN), in addition to a pipe bomb, addressed to former CIA director John Brennan (name misspelled as ‘Brenan’), who is a periodic guest commentator on the network.
“Responding officers identified a device that appeared to be an explosive device and they removed it for investigation,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters at a news conference held outside the network’s offices on the Upper West Side.
Experts are testing the powder at the site. The bomb was taken off site by the bomb squad to the NYPD firing range in the Bronx, officials said.
The Congressional mail screening facility in Capitol Heights, MD, intercepted a suspicious package that was sent to U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, (D-CA), various media reported late in the day Wednesday. As with the other targets, Waters is another high-profile Democratic politician who has been exceptionally critical of President Donald Trump’s leadership.
Another explosive device was intended to be sent to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who served under the Obama administration, as well, but apparently was sent to the wrong address and therefore returned to the return address on the package, listed as that of U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former national chairperson of the Democratic Party.
Wasserman Schultz’s office was evacuated after the suspicious package arrived in the mail, according to WFOR-TV in Miami.
The explosives were similar to that found in the mailbox of to leftist philanthropist George Soros last week, officials said.
U.S. President Donald Trump condemned what he called “despicable acts” and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.
The safety of the American People is my highest priority. I have just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service… pic.twitter.com/nEUBcq4NOh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
“In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said from the White House. “We’re extremely angry, upset and unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the incident a terrorist act, as did New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“What we saw here today was an effort to terrorize, this clearly is an act of terror, attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” said the mayor. “I want to make very clear, the people in New York will not be intimidated.”
But De Blasio also used the occasion to suggest that perhaps the Trump administration might be partly to blame for the attacks, taking an oblique swing at President Trump’s election campaigning around the country, albeit without once mentioning the president’s name.
“At a time when there’s a lot of hatred and division, it does not make sense to exacerbate it,” De Blasio said. “Let’s just say this to all public officials, to all partisan affiliations — don’t encourage violence, don’t encourage hatred, don’t encourage attacks on media. You can disagree, but you have to show respect for people and air your disagreements peacefully.
“Unfortunately, this atmosphere of hatred is contributing to the choices people are making to turn to violence. There’s no question about it.”
Following the Al Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001, anthrax spores in a white powder were mailed to the offices of various news media and two U.S. senators. According to Reuters, five people were killed, and 17 others were infected as a result.