The explosive devices were targeted at former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder. The device addressed to former CIA chief John Brennan was delivered to CNN’s New York headquarters and prompted an evacuation.
Officials said the devices addressed to Obama, Clinton and CNN appear to have been sent by the same person, The Washington Post reported.
In addition, PEOPLE confirms the Los Angeles Times building in Southern California received a suspicious box of envelopes on Wednesday. The El Segundo Police Department said there was no threat of a bomb and the building was not evacuated.
Days earlier, an explosive device was found in the mailbox of liberal philanthropist George Soros.
Motives of the would-be bombers remain unclear and there has been no claim of responsibility. No injuries have been reported as a result of any of the attempted bombings.
Here are all the things to know about the bomb threats across the country:
One device was found on Wednesday morning by a technician who screens mail at Clinton’s office and a similar device was sent to Obama’s office.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the Secret Service said it had “intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees.
“Late on October 23, 2018, the Secret Service recovered a single package addressed to former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County, New York. Early this morning, October 24, 2018, a second package addressed to former President Barack Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, D.C.,” the statement said.
“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them. The Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible,” the statement said.
Clinton, 70, addressed the bomb threats made against her. “It is a troubling time, isn’t it? And it’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can do to bring our country together,” she said, according to The Hill.
An official told the New York Times that the devices sent to Clinton and Obama were similar to one found on Monday at the New York suburb home of Soros, who was not home at the time. A caretaker called police about the suspicious package.
The device, which was likely hand-delivered and not sent by the Postal Service, was constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder. It was “proactively detonated” by bomb squad technicians, according to another law enforcement official who was also briefed on the investigation.
Soros’ home is north of Manhattan and is located near the residences of Martha Stewart, Glenn Close and Ralph Lauren.
The moment when CNN's fire alarm went off while Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were on the air. (via CNN) pic.twitter.com/6JUqzxFeRE
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 24, 2018
On Wednesday morning, the New York Police Department responded to a suspicious device discovered in Time Warner Center, where CNN is based, the outlet reported, citing a law enforcement source.
The device, which was reportedly made from a pipe and wires, was discovered in the mailroom of Time Warner Center, according to CNN, which also reported that law enforcement authorities are treating the device as a real explosive.
CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were forced to abruptly end their live broadcast due to the discovery of a possible explosive device. The exact moment was caught on camera and showed how the lights began to blare and a loud sound filled the offices. Sciutto appeared caught off guard by the sudden alarm as people in the background can be seen evacuating.
The Time Warner Center offices reopened around 3:30 p.m. ET and employees were returning to the building, NY1’s Van Tieu reported.
Another suspicious package arrived at the Sunrise, Florida, offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic rep for Florida’s 23 congressional district. According to a local NBC affiliate, a Broward Sheriff’s Office bomb squad unit and firefighters responded to the threat and FBI agents also investigated the scene.
The package in question was actually intended for Holder, but the address was incorrect so it was sent to Wasserman Schultz. Her Florida office address was the return address on all the packages, NBC News reported.
New York Gov. Cuomo‘s Manhattan offices were also targeted.
“This is the world we live in. Terrorism, the attempt to spread fear is the world that we live in,” he stated during a press conference. “In some ways, this is nothing new. We have lived with this for a long time. … Terrorism only works if you let it work. What they are trying to do is scare us and destabilize us. We will not allow that to happen… We will not allow these terrorist thugs to change the way we live our lives.”
Cuomo added, “There’s a number of devices and there’s a pattern, apparently, to the number of devices. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if more devices show up.”
The package turned out not to be related to the series of bombs sent to Obama, Clinton and CNN. Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said it was a computer thumb drive on the right wing radical group the Proud Boys.
“A preliminary investigation on the package at @NYGovCuomo’s office shows it is computer files on the hate group, The Proud Boys, who recently appeared in New York,” Azzopardi tweeted.
The Congresswoman, 80, said she was told by police her “office was the target of a suspicious package” that was intercepted and then referred to the FBI, according to the Washington Post.
It was unclear if the package contained an explosive device, and it was not among the packages listed by the FBI in a statement regarding the investigation.
After asserting that “the safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority,” and that “the full weight of our government is being deployed” to investigate the “despicable acts,” the president called for togetherness.
“I just want to tell you that in these times we have to unify,” he said during an opioids event at the White House on Wednesday. “We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
Trump continued, “This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans… We are extremely angry [and] upset… We will get to the bottom of it.”
At the same event, First Lady Melania Trump told the crowd: “We cannot tolerate these cowardly attacks, and I strongly condemn all who choose violence. I’m grateful to the Secret Service as well as the local and federal law enforcement for all they do on a daily basis to keep us safe and encourage people across the country to choose kindness over hatred.”
Earlier that day, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted about the bomb threats, calling them “cowardly” and despicable.” The president retweeted Pence’s remarks and simply responded, “I agree wholeheartedly!”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also spoke out the attacks. “These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” she said in a statement. “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.”