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Two more 'potential explosive devices' intercepted in US, massive criminal investigation launched

This comes barely two weeks before US congressional elections.

Two more 'potential explosive devices' intercepted in US, massive criminal investigation launched
Image Courtesy: FBI

WASHINGTON: Two more suspicious packages, similar in appearance to the previous five explosive devices, were addressed to US Representative Maxine Waters, said the country's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday morning.

The FBI tweeted, “In addition to the five packages referenced in our earlier statement, we have now confirmed two additional packages, both addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, that are similar in appearance.”

A massive country-wide investigation has been launched into the matter.

Between October 22 and 24, 2018, the suspicious packages at multiple locations in the New York and Washington. The packets were sent to the homes of former president Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Explosives were also found in package sent to the US news network CNN, after which Time Warner building in New York City, where the CNN bureau is located, was evacuated. This comes barely two weeks before US congressional elections.

The US Secret Service, in a statement, said, “The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.” “The Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible,” it added.

"This is clearly an act of terrorism," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

US President Donald Trump, later tweeted, "The safety of the American People is my highest priority. I have just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service."

 

Vice President Mike Pence also wrote, "We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice."

 

With the country deeply polarized under President Donald Trump, the packages brought a new level of tension to political contests that will decide whether Democrats can challenge the majorities now held by Trump`s Republicans in Congress.

With agency inputs