Package bombs

Two more parcels found as probe turns to Florida

Police officers with a bomb disposal robot outside an evacuated post office in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, after the discovery of additional suspicious packages. Two of them were intended for former vice-president Joe Biden in his home state o
Police officers with a bomb disposal robot outside an evacuated post office in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, after the discovery of additional suspicious packages. Two of them were intended for former vice-president Joe Biden in his home state of Delaware.PHOTO: REUTERS

Bomb squad, canine units examine sprawling mail distribution centre near Miami

MIAMI • The authorities found two more suspicious packages yesterday addressed to US Senator Cory Booker and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, amid a manhunt for the person who sent bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of US President Donald Trump.

The 11th package was found at a mail-sorting facility in Florida and was addressed to Mr Booker, the Democratic senator from New Jersey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Twitter.

A 12th package was addressed to Mr Clapper and sent to CNN, the cable network reported.

CNN reported yesterday that the federal authorities have arrested a man in connection with the suspected explosives, citing law enforcement sources.

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

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed 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 told Fox News Channel.

'NOT PRESIDENTIAL'

Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticise 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 criticise them, they go wild and scream, 'It's just not presidential!

U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, tweeting about his critics.

"I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice."

All the targets were figures often maligned by right-wing critics.

They included Democratic Party donor George Soros, former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former attorney-general Eric Holder, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan and California Representative Maxine Waters.

Two packages were sent to Ms Waters. The FBI has said that at least five of the packages bore a return address for the Florida office of US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The package addressed to Mr Holder ended up being rerouted and was delivered to the Wasserman Schultz return address.

Mr Brennan's package was sent in care of the Manhattan bureau of CNN, where he has appeared as an on-air analyst.

 
 
 

On Thursday, the investigation widened with the discovery of three additional packages.

Two were intended for former vice-president Joe Biden in his home state of Delaware, and one was for the actor Robert De Niro in Manhattan.

The authorities believe the packages, which were intercepted before reaching their intended recipients, all went through the US Postal Service at some point, a source said.

They have branded the parcel bombs an act of terrorism.

The parcels were sent less than two weeks before national elections that could alter the balance of power in Washington.

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

Mr Trump tweeted yesterday: "Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticise 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 criticise them, they go wild and scream, 'It's just not presidential!'"

REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2018, with the headline 'Two more parcels found as probe turns to Florida'. Print Edition | Subscribe