Packages to Biden, De Niro intercepted, similar to pipe bombs

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Police intercepted suspicious packages addressed to actor Robert De Niro and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, and investigators said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.

X-rays showed that the package recovered in Manhattan addressed to De Niro, who has been critical of President Donald Trump, contained a device like those sent to prominent Democrats and CNN, investigators said.

A law enforcement source said a similar package addressed to Biden was intercepted at a Delaware mail facility.

The bombs found earlier this week were intended for at least seven officials, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Democratic Representative Maxine Waters. The FBI says additional packages may have been mailed to other locations.

None of the bombs detonated and no one was injured. Here's a breakdown of what we know:

The packages had a similar return address
The pipe bombs were sent to a mix of offices and residential addresses, and appeared to target some of the people President Donald Trump mostly criticizes. The five packages discovered Wednesday all had a similar address: That of Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but with her name misspelled. There is no information to suggest she sent the packages.

Barack Obama: The package sent to Obama was intercepted in Washington, DC, during routine mail screening procedures, the Secret Service said.

Bill and Hillary Clinton: The package was addressed to their residence in Chappaqua, New York, and was intercepted Tuesday night by the Secret Service during routine mail inspection.

Eric Holder: The package was addressed to the former attorney general, but sent to the Florida office of Schultz, whose return address was on the package.

Maxine Waters: One package was sent to the Democratic congresswoman's office in DC and a second package addressed to her was found at a postal facility in Los Angeles. It matches the description of those sent to the other officials.

John Brennan: The "live explosive device" was delivered by courier to CNN offices in New York. The former CIA director frequently appears on CNN. The NYPD said an envelope containing white powder was found as part of the device's original packaging.

George Soros: A suspicious package found Monday appeared to be an explosive device targeting the billionaire investor and philanthropist. It was rendered safe in Bedford, New York, a law enforcement source told CNN.

They came in similar packaging
The devices appeared to be pipe bombs, said Bryan Paamann, FBI special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division in New York.

An initial examination shows they are rudimentary but functional, and have similar construction. At least one contained projectiles, including shards of glass, a law enforcement official told CNN. The bombs were unstable and could have been set off just by handling, sources said.

Packages sent to all but Biden are in manila envelopes with bubble wrap interior, the FBI said. Each package had six Forever stamps on the envelope as well.

The bomber maker wanted to create fear, expert says
The bombs were likely meant to be found and create panic, explosives experts say.

The devices had suspicious-looking packaging, at least one had a timer easily bought for a few dollars online and easily detected when mailed or delivered.

The images of two devices -- one found Monday at Soros' home and one sent to CNN's New York office on Wednesday -- looked like real devices that would cause serious bodily injury or death, said Ryan Morris, founder of Tripwire Operations Group, a company that provides explosives training to law enforcement and military officials.

"Whoever is doing this is just trying to elicit a fear or disrupt something," Morris said. "There are a multitude of more sophisticated methodologies that would have worked if they really wanted this to work."

Trump blamed his opponents
Despite a chaotic day of an attempted large-scale attack on prominent Democratic figures, Trump pointed the finger at his opponents and the news media for the turbulent national political environment.

"Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself. No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, corrosion or control, we all know that," he said Wednesday night.

He said it's the news media's responsibility to set the national political tone. Then he resumed his attacks on Democrats, including one falsely claiming they are allowing immigrants to enter the county illegally.

Read more here. 

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