Police Find Packages Sent to Ex-US Intel Chief Clapper, Senator Booker

Authorities found two more suspicious packages on Friday addressed to U.S. Senator Cory Booker and James Clapper, the former U.S. director of national intelligence, amid a manhunt for the person who sent bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The 11th package was found at a mail sorting facility in Florida and was addressed to Booker, the Democratic senator from New Jersey, the FBI said on Twitter. A 12th package was addressed to James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, and sent to CNN, the cable network reported.

Meanwhile, a local police bomb squad and canine units joined federal investigators on Thursday to examine a sprawling U.S. mail distribution center at Opa-Locka, northwest of Miami, Miami-Dade County police said.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that Florida appeared to be the starting point for at least some of the bomb shipments.

“Some of the packages went through the mail. They originated, some of them, from Florida,” she said during an interview with Fox News Channel on Thursday. “I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice.”

Authorities called the parcel bombs an act of terrorism. They were sent less than two weeks before national elections that could alter the balance of power in Washington.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombs, and the public was asked to report any tips.

All the people targeted were frequently maligned by right-wing critics. They included Democratic Party donor George Soros, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

(Top L-R) Actor Robert De Niro, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party donor George Soros and former U.S. President Barack Obama, (Bottom L-R) former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA director John Brennan are pictured in a combination photograph from Reuters file photos. REUTERS/File Photos

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said that at least five of the packages bore a return address from the Florida office of U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Authorities believe the packages, which were intercepted before reaching their intended recipients, all went through the U.S. Postal Service at some point, a source said. None detonated and no one has been hurt.

The devices were thought to have been fashioned from bomb-making designs widely available on the internet, a federal law enforcement source told Reuters.

Still, investigators are treating the devices as “live” explosives, not a hoax, said James O’Neill, the New York City police commissioner. Two of the parcels surfaced there.

The exterior of one of the suspicious packages sent to multiple locations in the U.S., appears in this handout photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, October 24, 2018. The mailing address and return address have been edited out of the photo at source. FBI/Handout via REUTERS

“It does remain possible that further packages have been or could be mailed,” William Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI, told a news conference in New York.

Investigators have declined to say whether the devices were built to be functional. Bomb experts and security analysts say that based on their rudimentary construction it appeared they were more likely designed to sow fear rather than to kill.

The parcels each consisted of a manila envelope with a bubble-wrap interior containing “potentially destructive devices,” the FBI said. Each was affixed with a computer-printed address label and six U.S. “Forever” postage stamps, the agency said.

Others who received the bombs were former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA director John Brennan, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters of California, and actor Robert De Nero. Two packages were sent both to Waters and Biden.

Brennan’s package was sent in care of the New York bureau of CNN, where he has appeared as an on-air analyst.

The episode sparked an outcry from Trump’s critics, who charged that his inflammatory rhetoric against Democrats and the press has created a climate for politically motivated violence.

After first calling for “unity” and civil discourse on Wednesday, Trump lashed out again Thursday at the “hateful” media. His supporters accused Democrats of unfairly suggesting the president was to blame for the bomb scare.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, “it’s just not Presidential!” Trump said on Twitter at about 3:15 a.m. EST (0715 GMT) on Friday.

(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Additional reporting by Gabriella Borter, Jonathan Allen and Barbara Goldberg in New York; Mark Hosenball and Susan Heavey in Washington; Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Bill Trott and Steve Gorman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Responses

  1. That’s a rough set of photos that makes Hillary look good.

  2. Actually, he can’t be too crazy, he singled out the upper eschelon of the left, the most destructive players. His history shows he was a registered Democrat until very recently. Nevertheless, a nut is a nut, and I’m happy he’s caught. Now look out for copy cat nuts.

  3. They caught the ‘Bomb’ nut in Plantation, FL and he’s a New Yorker. Neither of those facts surprise me.
    Thankfully the wretch didn’t kill anyone although there could be other packages in transit.

  4. Please nail this nut, ATF, FBI, NSA. Enough of this nonsense. I’m sure there’s room in Leavenworth.
    I’d hate to be delivering packages these days.

  5. I have to agree with Patrick who on another thread labeled the person(s) doing this “crazy”, I will however admit to there being a small part of me that hopes it proves to be a self identified “left leaning” crazy. Regardless I continue to be thankful they have essentially been proven to be duds and no one has been harmed physically.

    1. Morte, can you explain why you would want them to be left leaning crazy? Does that validate something in your mind? If the person is then, er… right leaning crazy, does that have the same validation for the left?

      Keep in mind, i also think crazy is crazy. I haven’t seen anyone actually calling for violence so I hardly think either side, at this point, should have to answer for some crazy trying to legitimately hurt people.

      1. Phoenix: I freely admit it is a petty feeling generated by all of the Dem / left leaning self righteous and hypocritical calls for civility and blame throwing as if they bear no part in this turn of events. Both sides are to blame rhetoric-wise but ultimately crazy is crazy.

        1. Thanks! That makes sense. It would be nice if in all these calls for civility – on either side – they throw in an apology for their own role in the divisiveness… probably not going to happen.

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