The world woke to fear on Wednesday and Thursday as more than a half-dozen explosive devices were mailed to some of the country’s most famous citizens. Suspicious packages arrived at various locations in the U.S. addressed to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Maxine Waters on Wednesday, among others, while Joe Biden and Robert De Niro were targeted on Thursday.
CNN’s newsroom was evacuated live on air when a package containing a pipe bomb arrived at the building where they broadcast. The FBI is carefully investigating each and every package. The devices have already been sent to Quantico, Virginia, for further study and testing.
Now, CNN reports that investigators have a lead on the suspect who sent these devices: many of the packages seem to have originated in Florida. Federal investigators are already in the state, and are presumably on the trail of the person or persons who sent the packages.
None of the packages detonated, but it has been reported that the package sent to CNN was fully capable of detonating. It is unknown how much damage the devices would have caused if they had been allowed to detonate.
None of the packages actually reached their intended targets, and few made it to their intended destinations. The package addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder went to the Florida office used by former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
No postmarks and only 6 stamps to mails pipe bomb??? Really? pic.twitter.com/ZVKQM0JH3V— Shawn Alvernaz (@azzkiknstyle) October 25, 2018
A few of the packages were halted at post offices before ever reaching their targets, including the one addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden.
At this time, authorities believe that several of the packages were sent through the mail from a processing and distribution center in Opa-locka, Florida. Mail coming from or going to south Florida is managed here.
There were some other bizarre items found in one or more of the packages. White powder was contained with the device sent to John Brennan. However, early tests show that this powder was not anthrax or any other known agent. The package sent to CNN contained a parody ISIS flag image that is popular online among conservatives.
Each package was mailed in a manila envelope with bubble wrap and contained six American flag “forever” stamps. At least one device included a timer that’s easy to purchase online.
Experts believe the packages were created more to inspire fear than to do actual harm.
“There are a multitude of more sophisticated methodologies that would have worked if they really wanted this to work,” said Ryan Morris, an expert in law enforcement and military training.
The pipe bombs could have been set off merely with handling, which means they could have potentially detonated while being moved around by postal workers. At this time, it’s not known why these devices did not detonate.
Thursday was fraught with fear, as the CNN building was evacuated again due to a couple of unattended packages left in the building, reports CBS New York.
However, this was a false alarm. The packages were safe, and seemingly unconnected to the unknown pipe bomber.
“The message today is that New Yorkers are safe,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on Thursday. But no one knows what the mail may bring tomorrow.