Agency calls on public to remain vigilant over chance ‘additional packages were mailed to other locations’
Crude pipe bombs targeting Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others were intercepted Tuesday night and Wednesday in a rash of attacks two weeks before nationwide elections that could entail a major revamping of Congress.
Official are saying that the devices shared a similar design, were aimed at prominent Democrats and a cable news network often criticized by political conservatives. In addition, a similar device was found Monday at the New York compound of liberal billionaire George Soros.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a statement Wednesday on its investigation into suspicious packages containing suspected explosive devices.
The packages are in the process of being sent for analysis to an FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.
NEW: Photos show suspected explosive devices sent to locations in New York and Washington. D.C. The devices were all similarly constructed, law enforcement sources tell @ABC.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 24, 2018
Describing the investigation as one of “the highest priority,” FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined the agency’s plans for dealing with the apparent threat.
“We have committed the full strength of the FBI’s resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages,” Wray said. “We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call; no piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation.”
Among its findings, the FBI noted that each package was mailed in “manila envelopes with bubble wrap interior.”
“The packages were affixed with computer-printed address labels and six Forever stamps,” the statement said. “All packages had a return address of ‘DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ’ [sic] in Florida.”
The full list of recipients so far includes billionaire George Soros, Clinton, Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
“The package addressed to former Attorney General Holder did not reach its intended destination, but was rerouted to the return address in Florida,” the FBI noted.
The FBI also called on the public to remain vigilant as it remains “possible that additional packages were mailed to other locations.”
“The FBI advises the public to remain vigilant and not touch, move or handle any suspicious or unknown packages,” the statement concluded.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.
— FBI (@FBI) October 24, 2018
While the FBI statement does not discuss the alleged bombs themselves, one Twitter user noted that an ISIS flag appears to be present on the device sent to Brennan at CNN’s New York City studio.
Jeff Seldon, national security correspondent for Voice of America, notes, however, that officials say there is no evidence thus far connecting the plot to international terror.
US counterterrorism officials aware of what looks like it could be an #ISIS flag on suspected bomb sent to @CNN-as tweeted out in this photo from CNN-and is looking into it. BUT official say the early assessment of no indication of a nexus to international terror remains pic.twitter.com/Vne5z1LSZ5
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) October 24, 2018