By David E. Hubler and Glynn Cosker
In Homeland Security
***This article will be updated as developments occur***
Oct. 26, 12.00 p.m. – According to multiple sources, including CNN, Federal officials have arrested a man they say is connected to the spate of suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats and other targets – the Justice Department announced Friday. According to CNN, the suspect is a man in his 50s with an address in Aventura, Fla. He was arrested about 20 miles south of Aventura at a business in Plantation. Officials state that the man in custody has a criminal history and also has ties to New York. There are no other addition details of the suspect, but according to CBS News, DNA played a role in the arrest.
Oct. 25, 10.55 a.m. – Federal and local investigators swarmed two Delaware postal facilities Thursday morning after the FBI says two suspicious packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden were intercepted. Both packages are similar to others sent to prominent national Democrats in recent days, law enforcement officials told NBC News Channel 10 in Philadelphia.”
“Investigators from the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Delaware State Police and New Castle County police could be seen around daybreak at the United States Postal Service facility along Quigley Boulevard in New Castle, Delaware. The bomb squad deployed a robot as they investigated.
“The second suspicious package, also addressed to the former vice president was then found a short time later at the Lancaster Avenue post office in Wilmington, which is about 8 miles away, law enforcement officials said.”
Oct. 25, 8.35 a.m. – NYPD reports that a suspicious package addressed to actor Robert De Niro was sent to his Tribeca Productions office in Manhattan. The package was found by a security officer at around 5.00 a.m. An NYPD representative said that the package was “was similar to explosive packages that had been publicized.” An X-ray of the package revealed that it was almost identical to the crude pipe bombs sent earlier to the homes of Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama – as well as billionaire philanthropist George Soros and the Time Warner headquarters in New York.
Oct. 25, 8:25 a.m. – The FBI states that at least seven bombs were intercepted since Monday – and that number is expected to increase in the coming days.
Here is a breakdown of the targeted locations or individuals so far:
- Hillary Clinton’s house in Chappaqua, New York
- Former President Barack Obama’s Washington D.C. residence
- Former CIA Director John Brennan, (via a package addressed to him that was sent to CNN’s New York City offices)
- California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters
- Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, (via a package addressed to him that was found in the office of Florida’s Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz)
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his Manhattan office
- Billionaire George Soros, at his Bedford, New York, residence
- Vice President Joe Biden (via a package discovered in a Delaware Post Office)
- Robert De Niro’s New York restaurant and production office
Oct. 25, 7.50 a.m. – The political rhetoric surrounding the multiple pipe bombs continues to heat up. President Trump pointed the finger at the “mainstream media” as the reason for the nation’s current “anger” – without specifying the bombs. That prompted a heated tweet from Former CIA Director John Brennan who criticized President Trump’s response to the situation and accused the president of encouraging “physical violence.”
Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence. https://t.co/cS5qNiuU7o
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) October 25, 2018
Oct. 24, 2.25 p.m. – President Donald Trump offered up remarks about the attacks, calling them “despicable acts” of “political violence.” President Trump stated that a major federal investigation is underway.
“I just want to tell you that 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,” said President Trump just prior to an already-scheduled White House event.
Oct. 24, 11.15 a.m. – The Secret Service announced Wednesday morning that it had intercepted “potential explosive devices” sent to the homes of former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The announcement came shortly before the NYPD Bomb Squad was called to CNN headquarters in mid-town Manhattan to investigate reports of a possible bomb there. The Time-Warner building was quickly evacuated and the CNN home page went blank.
CBS News said the packages were addressed to the Obama residence in Washington, D.C., and the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York.
Neither package was actually delivered to its intended address. Bomb squad personnel reportedly detonated the explosive device in the woods near the Clintons’ home, a CBS source said.
A Secret Service statement explained that “The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” The New York Times reported. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”
The statement added that the Secret Service had “initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”
A law enforcement source told CBS that the device addressed to Clinton’s home in Chappaqua was similar to an explosive device found on Monday in a mailbox at the Bedford, NY, mansion of billionaire George Soros, a well-known philanthropist and Democratic donor. Law enforcement officials detonated the bomb at the Soros’ home without anyone being injured.
The Soros and Clinton homes are only about eight miles apart in Westchester County.
A White House statement called the incidents at the Clinton and Obama homes “despicable.”