Actor Robert De Niro latest target of serial pipe bomb package

Toby Graves
October 27, 2018

At least one of themwas misaddressed and returned to sender, two law enforcement sources told CNN.

Bomb experts and security analysts say that based on the rudimentary construction of the bombs it appeared they were more likely created to sow fear rather than to kill.

The list of Democratic figures who have been sent suspicious packages this week include former president Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former attorney-general in the Obama administration Eric Holder, and Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters, a vocal critic of Mr Trump. A Wasserman Schultz district office in South Florida was listed as the return address on the packages, in what current and former investigators said was a feint suggesting particular antipathy on the part of the bomber toward her.

A law enforcement official told CNN that the initial examination of all of the devices shows them to be constructed similarly. However, later, the US Secret Service said in a statement that reports of a third suspicious package sent to the White House are incorrect.

At a Wisconsin rally hours after news broke of the bomb threat, Trump's supporters chanted "lock her up", a long-running slogan favored by the president's Republican base. The devices were being examined by technicians at the FBI's forensic lab in Quantico, Virginia.

The packages were sent in manila envelopes with bubble wrap, marked with computer-printed address labels. Investigators in California scrutinized a package sent to Democratic Sen.

All of the bomber's targets have clashed sharply with Trump at different times, and the spate of risky packages intensified the already full-throated political fights two weeks before congressional elections.

The package to Clinton was found late on Tuesday while the one addressed to Obama was recovered early on Wednesday, both during routine off-site mail screenings, the Secret Service said. He threatened this morning, on the heels of the attack on CNN, that the mass media "had better get its act to together and fast".

Several of the devices were intercepted by the US Secret Service which meant that neither President Obama, nor President Clinton and his family were in danger of receiving the packages. Shortly after, the United States media outlet CNN reported that a suspicious device found at its offices in NY has been removed from the site.

Law enforcement officials say they're increasing security for people or organizations that might be targeted. They noted the president's recent praise of a GOP congressman who body-slammed a reporter, among other Trump statements.

"No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation", Trump said, pledging an "aggressive investigation" that will bring the suspects to justice "hopefully very soon".

One of the packages addressed to Ms Waters was discovered at a congressional mail sorting facility in Maryland.

The mail-bomb scare widened Thursday as law enforcement officials seized three more suspicious packages - two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and one to actor Robert De Niro - and said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.

Mr Holder's package had the wrong address and was sent to Ms Wasserman Shultz's office in Florida after the package could not be delivered to his address.

"He should not be beating the tom-toms of anger and animosity and war", said the former Central Intelligence Agency chief, whose security clearance was revoked by Trump after he criticized the president's summit earlier this year with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We should not mob people in public places or destroy public property", Trump said instead. It could allow them to assess the sophistication of, and care taken, by the person or persons who built and mailed the bombs.

Republicans in the state have been growing increasingly nervous about the prospects of holding onto the governor's office, let alone picking up a Senate seat held by a well-positioned Democratic incumbent.

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