National Security

Several pipe bombs may have been mailed from Florida: reports

Federal authorities investigating the mailing of pipe bombs this week to multiple prominent Democrats reportedly believe that the devices were sent from Florida.

Two people briefed on the matter told The New York Times that increased attention is being paid to the area as three more devices were discovered on Thursday.

FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney during a press briefing in New York on Thursday afternoon declined to comment on the reports linking the explosives to Florida. 

He said he would not comment on where they were sent from as authorities continue to investigate the packages.{mosads}

Sweeney also did not answer questions about which packages were hand-delivered and which went through the Postal Service.

Two of the latest packages were sent to former Vice President Joe Biden, who has feuded with President Trump in the past and is considering a 2020 presidential run, while one was sent to actor Robert De Niro, who has vocally criticized the president.

The FBI has said the packages and devices sent to Biden and De Niro were similar to those addressed earlier this week to Democratic mega-donor George Soros, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

Sweeney said during the briefing Thursday that bomb squads have been treating the devices as “live,” but declined to say whether the devices were actually capable of exploding.

The devices are currently being investigated at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va. 

The FBI official said a white powder included in some of the packages, including the one sent to CNN’s offices in New York that was addressed to Brennan, was “not biological.” 

Authorities have said that several of the packages had a return address listed as a Florida office for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D). The former Democratic National Committee chairwoman has denounced her name being used on the packages.

None of the devices discovered so far exploded and no injuries have been reported.

The packages have sparked a national conversation over the divisiveness of America’s current political rhetoric and a bipartisan call for both sides to ease tensions.

“This is a political year, it’s a political season. We are weeks from an election, and that’s obviously in the air and that’s an obvious fact,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday. “But we’ve been through many political seasons and we have political differences and that’s actually good for democracy.”

Cuomo spoke during a briefing on the package sent to Brennan, which forced the evacuation of CNN’s offices on Wednesday.

Trump has condemned the suspected explosive devices and issued a call for unity 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 said at a White House event.

–Updated at 4:10 p.m.

Tags Bomb threat Debbie Wasserman Schultz Donald Trump Eric Holder Florida Hillary Clinton Joe Biden John Brennan Maxine Waters pipe bombs

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