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What we know about the explosives and suspicious packages delivered in New York, DC

October 24, 2018 - 2:50 pm
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(NEW YORK) -- Investigators are frantically looking for clues after suspicious packages were delivered to two former Democratic presidents, CNN's New York offices and a billionaire liberal donor this week.

The packages all contained an explosive device, law enforcement officers said, adding that similar packages could still be out there.

The FBI, ATF, Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, NYPD and other local authorities are investigating.

Here is what we know about how the events unfolded.

Monday Oct. 22
3:45 p.m.


A suspicious device is found at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

His home is located about 50 miles north of Manhattan, in the town of Katonah, which is in Westchester County, New York.

The device was found to be a pipe bomb loaded with explosive black powder and is believed to have been hand-delivered to Soros' suburban home.

The bomb was found by a property caretaker for the billionaire, a law enforcement source said. The caretaker told investigators he noticed a suspicious envelope as he was walking toward the house. He dropped it in the woods away from the residence and called the Bedford Police Department, which sent officers to the scene.

Bedford police said the investigation was turned over to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Soros, 88, was not home when the device was discovered, and no one was injured in the incident.

Tuesday Oct. 23

The U.S. Secret Service discovered a single package that was addressed to Hillary Clinton on Oct. 23.

The Secret Service said in a statement that it was addressed “to Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County.”

Hillary Clinton, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have a home in the suburb of Chappaqua where they have lived since leaving the White House in 2000.

Former President Clinton was at home at the time the package was found, according to a source familiar with the situation, who also stressed that the package was screened and discovered away from the residence.

Wednesday, Oct. 24
“Early this morning”


The third suspicious device was found “early this morning,” according to the Secret Service in a statement released at roughly 9:35 a.m. That device was addressed to the residence of former President Barack Obama but it was “intercepted” by the Secret Service.

The Secret Service, referring to the packages sent to the Obamas and Clintons, said they “were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handles as such. The protectees did not received the devices nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

The Naval District of Washington confirmed to ABC News that Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling identified a suspicious package this morning. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is home to the Secret Service's mail screening facility for the White House and those under Secret Service protection in D.C.

9:38 a.m.


The fourth suspicious package was discovered at 9:38 a.m. at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. The Time Warner Center is home to CNN’s New York offices.

Law enforcement sources report that the package was discovered in the mail room and addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, though Brennan is a NBC News contributor and has no public ties to CNN.

CNN anchors were on air at the time of the discovery and a fire alarm could be heard going off in the middle of the broadcast.

A few floors of the building were evacuated.

12:04 p.m.

President Donald Trump shared a tweet by Vice President Mike Pence, decrying the foiled attacks.

"We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice." Pence wrote in his tweet, published at 11:14 a.m.

Trump retweeted Pence's post, writing: "I agree wholeheartedly."

12:30 p.m.


Hillary Clinton was in Florida for a campaign event and made brief remarks addressing the news about the package that was intercepted.

“Many of you and others across our country have asked after me and my family and I'm very grateful for that. We are fine thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package addressed to us long before it made its way to our home. Every day we are grateful to their service and commitment... never more than today,” Clinton said.

12:47 p.m.

Sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News that a suspicious package was also sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The location and status of that Holder package remain unknown.

Holder served as the attorney general for former President Obama.

12:50 p.m.

NYPD commissioner James O’Neill revealed at a news conference that white powder was also found in the search following the discovery of the Time Warner Center suspicious package.

During the same news conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that "a device was sent to my office in Manhattan." NYPD officials later determined that there was no device at Cuomo's office and reports of a suspicious package were unrelated to the other incidents.

"We wouldn't be surprised if additional devices are sent," Cuomo said.

1:00 p.m.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that U.S. Capitol Police are investigating at least one suspicious package containing a possible device that was intercepted at a Congressional mail sorting facility in Maryland.

The Capitol Police bomb squad is on the scene.

It was later determined that this package had been addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.

2:23 p.m.

Trump spoke briefly at a previously scheduled White House event, calling the incidents "abhorrent" and "despicable acts."

"The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority," Trump said, noting that he "just concluded" a briefing with various law enforcement agencies about the packages.

"As we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts and a major federal investigation is underway," he said.

"In these times we have to unify, we have to come together," Trump said, adding "that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."

"We're extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we've witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump said.

First Lady Melania Trump also condemned the attacks, speaking at the same event moments before her husband.

"We cannot tolerate these cowardly attacks and I strongly condemn all who choose violence," she said.

2:30 p.m.

The NYPD confirmed that the earlier suspicious package at Cuomo's office in midtown Manhattan was unrelated to the string of suspicious packages and there was no device inside.

3:00 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton made his first public statement in the wake of the device at his home, praising the work of the Secret Service.

"Thank you to the @SecretService and all law enforcement agencies who responded to this week's incidents. They work tirelessly to keep our country and communities safe. I am forever grateful for their efforts," Clinton wrote.

Roughly 3:30 p.m.

Waters released a statement about the package that was addressed to her congressional office in D.C.

"I have been informed by U.S. Capitol Police that my Washington, DC office was the target of a suspicious package that has been referred to the FBI. I am appreciative of the law enforcement entities who intercepted the package and are investigating this matter. I unequivocally condemn any and all acts of violence and terror," Waters said in a statement.

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