Former US President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among the targets of suspected package bombs delivered to several high-profile Democrats and CNN in what NY officials on Wednesday called an act of terrorism. "It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description".
A federal law enforcement source said charges would likely be brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Sayoc transferred to New York City.
Investigators have been searching coast-to-coast for the culprit and motives behind the freaky mail-bomb plot aimed at critics of the president, analyzing the innards of the crude devices to reveal whether they were meant to detonate or simply sow fear two weeks before Election Day.
None of the mailed packages exploded and investigators won't yet say whether the bombs were authentically meant to do harm or if they were non-functioning bombs meant to incite terror.
The first crude bomb to be discovered had been delivered on Monday to the suburban NY compound of George Soros, a liberal billionaire and major contributor to Democratic causes. One such package used an incorrect address for former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., and it was "returned" to her office in Sunrise, Fla., where it was intercepted, according to officials. But his narrative was interrupted rudely this week by a much more tangible threat - the discovery of explosive devices sent from inside the USA homeland.
Similar packages were also mailed to the NY bureau of CNN - intended for former CIA Director James Brennan, apparently - as well as to the Florida congressional office of Rep.
Law enforcement officials said they had intercepted a dozen packages in states across the country.
The attempted bomb attacks against Democratic officials, including former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as cable network CNN are front and center at the preshow of President Donald Trump's Wisconsin rally. In a recent poll from Reuters/Ipsos, 80 percent of voters said they support protections for people with pre-existing conditions and 58 percent said they want the ACA to stay in place. All the packages included crude bombs fashioned from PVC pipes and sent inside non-descript manila envelope, with pre-printed addresses and a half-dozen stamps - each bearing an American flag.
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Some 27 percent blame Democrats and Obama for the system, while 20 percent view Republicans and Trump as responsible. They included former president Barack Obama, ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Obama's attorney general Eric Holder, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan and California Representative Waters, who received two packages.
Trump has frequently labelled stories he doesn't like as "fake news" and many reporters as "enemies of the people".
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Similar pipe bomb packages that were en route to the Clintons and the Obamas yesterday (October 24), were intercepted in Delaware and NY on Thursday after they were sent to former Vice President Joe Biden and Robert De Niro.
He took a few questions, including one from a person who asked if he saw that the suspect owned a van with Trump stickers plastered all over it.
At an event in Texas on Wednesday, Brennan faulted Trump for frequent inflammatory rhetoric.
Also, on Friday, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reported that a suspicious package was being investigated after it was delivered to the National Nuclear Security Administration North Las Vegas facilities. Coming less than a fortnight before the mid-term elections, Democratic opponents and some media outlets led by CNN have blamed this for his rhetoric against the press. "Day in, day out, there is a negative tone", Sanders told press outside the White House. "Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that", he said.