‘Potential explosive devices’ sent to Obama and Clinton

CNN headquarters in New York evacuated during live broadcast after suspicious device found

Potential explosive devices targeting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were intercepted by the US secret service during routine mail screenings. Hillary Clinton was campaigning for Democrats in Florida at the time. Video: Reuters

 

Potential explosive devices targeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been intercepted by the US Secret Service, while the headquarters of CNN in New York has been evacuated.

A suspicious package addressed to former president Mr Obama’s home in Washington was intercepted on Wednesday morning, and a similar package also found in the vicinity of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s residence in upstate New York.

George Soros, the billionaire financier who has become a hate figure for some groups on far right, was also the target of a similar package on Monday.

In a statement White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders condemned the “attempted violent attacks recently made against president Obama, president Clinton, secretary Clinton, and other public figures”.

“These terrorising acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards,” she said.

CNN headquarters in New York were evacuated during a live broadcast after a suspicious device was found.

“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 statement. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

One device was addressed to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, who lives with former president Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, a suburb about 60km north of New York City.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton with former US president Bill Clinton. Photograph: Shawn Thew/ EPA
Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton with former US president Bill Clinton. Photograph: Shawn Thew/ EPA

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.– Additional reporting: Bloomberg