'Functional' bombs mailed to Hillary, Bill Clinton's home and Barack Obama's office; CNN New York offices also evacuated

Multiple bombs have being mailed to a string of US politicos and found on Wednesday morning - including to Hillary and Bill Clinton's suburban New York home, the Barack and Michelle Obama residence in Washington D.C and also the CNN offices in New York. The FBI and the Secret Service are on location and treating all these as "linked". We are also hearing that FBI is saying that the bombs were "functional" - meaning this is no hoax; these bombs could actually go off and kill people. Law enforcement officials are saying the package at the CNN office in New York is believed to be a pipe bomb.

 Functional bombs mailed to Hillary, Bill Clintons home and Barack Obamas office; CNN New York offices also evacuated

Law enforcement officers on location outside Barack Obama's office in Washington DC. AP

Former President Bill Clinton was at the family's Chappaqua, New York, home when a suspicious package was intercepted at a Westchester County, NY, facility. That's according to a person familiar with his schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity and wasn't authorized to speak publicly. The person says the device was screened at the Westchester facility and never reached the Clintons' home.

Officials said one of the packages had the return address of Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, an ironic reference to the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. The package addressed to Obama was intercepted Wednesday by Secret Service agents in Washington. Neither Clinton nor Obama received the packages, and neither was at risk of receiving them because of screening procedures, the Secret Service said in a statement. The CNN bomb was crude but operational and was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who appears on air on other broadcast and cable outlets. Staffers in the mail room noticed pipes and wires when the package went through the usual X-ray process for all incoming mail.

CNN's buildings in New York's Columbus Circle have also been evacuated at exactly 10:15 am EST, soon after fire alarms went off while a morning broadcast was on air. CNN has begun broadcasting from Washington DC while reports of a suspicious device now spread to Manhattan. A suspicious package was found at the CNN mail sorting facility, the network is reporting. The White House says it "condemns" attempted attacks on Obama, Clinton, others. "These terrorizing acts are despicable", White House said.

The official says investigators believe the explosive is linked to one found Monday at the compound of liberal billionaire George Soros. That device was ‘proactively detonated’ by bomb squad technicians. Police have yet to arrest anyone on suspicion of mailing the explosive to Soros, and a possible motive remains unclear.

All this action comes in the final bend of US midterm election season as racially charged rhetoric is doing the rounds on the Republican campaign trail.

Updated Date: Oct 24, 2018 21:38:16 IST