Pipe bombs sent to high-profile Democrats 'act of terror'

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other officials Escape Bomb Attacks In U.S

Several bombs have been posted to high-profile Trump critics in the US, including former president Barack Obama. A crude pipe bomb was sent to Mr Obama at his family home in Kalorama, Washington DC, and was discovered early on Wednesday. Just hours earlier, another bomb was found addressed to former secretary of state and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the home she shares with former president husband Bill in Chappaqua, New York.

The bomb was removed for disposal
Image: The New York bomb was removed for disposal amid a heavy police presence

Both families have their mail screened offsite and were not at risk of receiving the bombs, the Secret Service said. Mrs Clinton later said she and her family were “fine”, thanking the Secret Service and saying they had intercepted the explosive “long before it made its way to our home”.

Donald Trump said he was “extremely angry, upset and unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it”.

He said: “In these times we have to unify, come together and send one clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”

Democrat leaders criticised the US president, saying his condemnation of violence “rings hollow”.

Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement that Mr Trump had “condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and actions.”

They cited the president’s backing of a GOP congressman who “body-slammed” a reporter, his relationships with dictators and his handling of a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville as examples.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as first lady Melania Trump speaks about the apparent bombs sent in packages addressed to Democratic political figures in New York, Washington and Florida during an event in the East Room of the White House on the administration efforts to "combat the opioid crisis" in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2018
President Trump called for unity after suspicious packages were sent to the Obamas, Clintons and CNN New York offices.
The package sent to CNN. Pic: ABC News
Image: The package sent to former CIA boss John Brennan at CNN. Pic: ABC News
The package sent to John Brennan at CNN. Pic: ABC News
Image: The bomb sent to John Brennan at CNN. Pic: ABC News

CNN’s New York offices were also targeted and the broadcaster’s worldwide president Jeff Zucker appeared to blame the Trump administration and its attacks on the media for inspiring the attacks.

He said: “There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media.

“The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter.

“Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”

The package sent to Hillary Clinton. Pic: ABC News
Image: The package sent to Hillary Clinton. Pic: ABC News

On Wednesday morning part of New York City had been shut down after a pipe bomb was found in the broadcaster’s mailroom.

It was accompanied by an envelope with white powder, which police said was being tested.

Live footage later showed the NYPD’s bomb truck taking the explosive to a police facility in the Bronx where it would be examined.

Police said the package had been addressed to former CIA director and Trump critic John Brennan, who has appeared on the cable news channel as a contributor.

Officers had been making contact with people at high-profile locations following the earlier bombs, telling staff what to look out for. They were at the Time Warner building when that device was discovered.

The package sent to Ms Schultz's office was reportedly addressed to attorney general Eric Holder
Image: The package sent to Ms Schultz’s office was reportedly addressed to attorney general Eric Holder

An explosive device was also sent to Mr Obama’s former attorney general Eric Holder, whose package was reportedly addressed incorrectly and re-directed to Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who had been named as the return address.

A suspicious package was also received by California congresswoman Maxine Waters.  On Monday a similar device was found at the New York home of billionaire George Soros, a major Democrat donor. But suspect packages sent to New York governor Andrew Cuomo and a newspaper in San Diego, which shares its building with Democrat senator Kamala Harris, were later revealed to have been false alarms. Bryan Paarmann, the FBI’s top counter-terrorism official in New York, said: “We will not rest until we stop these hazardous devices from being mailed and bring the individual or individuals to justice.”

TX6GCDE24 Oct. 2018New York, UNITED STATESA member of the New York Police Department bomb squad is pictured outside the Time Warner Center in the Manahattan borough of New York City after a suspicious package was found inside the CNN Headquarters in New York, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Image: The New York police bomb squad safely removed the explosive from CNN’s bureau in the city
 In New York, the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio described the explosives as “an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence”.

He said the nation was going through a “painful time” and that people were “feeling a lot of hatred in the air”.

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