Watch CBS News

Suspicious Packages Target CNN, Democrats Including Obama, Clinton, Biden

Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook  | Twitter

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — 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 reshape Congress and serve as a referendum on the first two years of President Donald Trump's presidency. The FBI also says two suspicious packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden were found at two postal facilities in Delaware on Thursday morning.

Follow CBSNews and CBSNewYork for more on this story.

The devices, which officials said shared a similar design, were aimed at prominent Democrats and a cable news network often criticized by political conservatives.

A law enforcement official tells the AP that the bombs were packed with shards of glass.

The bombs overtook other campaign news in an already-tense political season, which has included pitched fights over immigration, the Supreme Court and sexual violence against women.

WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks following bomb scares at homes of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the CNN New York offices. DETAILS:

Posted by CBS Philly on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

There were no explosions and no reports of injuries.

There was a heavy police presence at Biden's Delaware home Wednesday. New Castle County Police officers and K-9s did a sweep of the home as a precaution, but didn't find anything.

However, on Thursday morning, the FBI confirmed suspicious package intended for Biden were intercepted at postal facilities in Wilmington and New Castle, Delaware.

The packages fit the description of the other package mailed to Democrats, sources say.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill says the package sent to CNN contained a live explosive and envelope with white powder.

A law enforcement source tells CBS News the device addressed to the Clinton home resembled a pipe bomb, similar to an explosive device sent to the home of Soros that was discovered on Monday.

Megyn Kelly Apologizes For Defending Blackfaces Halloween Costumes

The White House quickly condemned the attacks aimed at Democrats and perceived foes of the administration.

"Acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States," Trump said. "This egregious conduct is abhorrent."

"That's a very bipartisan statement," he said.

During a rally in Wisconsin, Trump said, "We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony."

But he says the media "has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories."

Trump is calling for a new level of civility, saying those "engaged in the political arena" must "stop threatening political opponents as being morally defective."


All the confirmed bombs appeared to come from the same person or persons, said John Miller, the New York Police Department's head of intelligence and counterterrorism, who briefed reporters in New York.

The U.S. Secret Service intercepted a bomb that was addressed to Hillary Clinton at the Chappaqua, New York, home she shares with former President Bill Clinton, and another that was sent to former President Obama at his home with Michelle Obama in Washington. A police bomb squad removed still another from CNN's New York headquarters, which was evacuated.

"We will not rest until we stop these hazardous devices from being mailed and bring the individual or individuals to justice," said Bryan Paarmann, the FBI's top counterterrorism official in New York.

CBS Miami is reporting that the office of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's office also received a suspicious package in the mail in Sunrise, Florida. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his office received a similar package, but New York police officials said the office was cleared and no device was found.

bomb scare package
(credit: FBI)

Cuomo said at a briefing that "we will not allow these terrorist thugs to change the way we live our lives."

According to CBS Los Angeles, a package addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters was found at a Los Angeles mail facility. AP sources say the package is similar to those found in New York and Washington, D.C.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that investigators believe the explosive that was discovered near the Clintons' home was linked to one found Monday at the Soros compound.

Bomb Found At Billionaire Philanthropist George Soros' New York Home

Neither Clinton nor Obama received the packages, and neither was at risk of receiving them because of screening procedures, the Secret Service said.

Two law enforcement officials, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the pipe bomb at CNN was crude but operational and was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who regularly appears as a television contributor and who has publicly clashed with Trump. They said it was similar to other explosives discovered in the past few days.

The device was mailed in an envelope to CNN's offices on Columbus Circle using six stamps. It was compact, perhaps about the length of a wooden spoon, and contained wires and a black pipe, officials said.

The packages are being sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.

"This investigation is of the highest priority for the FBI. 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," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "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."

Hillary Clinton was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and was not at the family's New York residence at the time. Bill Clinton was at the family's Chappaqua home at the time the package was intercepted Tuesday night at a Westchester County facility, said a person familiar with his schedule. The person said the device was screened at the facility — not in proximity to their residence — and never reached the Clintons' home.

A law enforcement official told the AP that the package discovered at Soros' home appeared to be a pipe bomb and was in a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound. A Soros employee opened it just inside the gates, not near Soros' quarters, the official said.

Late Wednesday night, authorities in Pennsylvania investigated a suspicious bag found on the property state representative Tom Murt. It was later deemed safe.

Philadelphia Police say they are monitoring the situation.

"These things are very concerning to us. We are monitoring their investigation up in New York City," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.