Obamas, Clintons Targeted With Possible Bombs; CNN Evacuated 




(Bloomberg) -- Potential explosive devices addressed to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were detected and intercepted by the U.S. Secret Service, which has opened a criminal investigation into the incidents.

"The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said in an emailed statement Wednesday. "The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them."

https://t.co/L0ULbVXILc pic.twitter.com/hHT71ZaIPu

- Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) October 24, 2018

There were reports of other potentially dangerous packages as well. CNN said it evacuated its New York City bureau, citing a report of a suspicious device. The cable network's anchors delivered their reports from the street outside Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

pic.twitter.com/rtcAoKS6y9

- MJ Lee (@mj_lee) October 24, 2018

One device was addressed to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, who lives with former President Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, a suburb about 40 miles north of New York City. The other was addressed to former President Obama in Washington.

"We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

The FBI's New York field office said in a tweet that its Joint Terrorism Task Force "has engaged with our federal, state and local partners to investigate" the package sent to the Clintons.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said in a tweet that "nothing got to any home."

The incidents followed an earlier discovery when police on Monday "proactively detonated" a pipe-bomb found at a residence in New York's suburbs owned by billionaire philanthropist and Democratic donor George Soros.

The Secret Service takes special measures to screen the mail of the public figures it protects. Each piece of mail undergoes screening before delivery for potential hazardous substances or devices, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Suspicious packages are routinely quarantined for further examination at facilities that include a chemical and biological laboratory and a forensics laboratory.

(Adds Secret Service's screening procedure in final paragraph.)

--With assistance from Christian Berthelsen.

To contact the reporters on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.net;Toluse Olorunnipa in Washington at tolorunnipa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Derek Wallbank at dwallbank@bloomberg.net, Larry Liebert, Kevin Whitelaw

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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