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Debbie Wasserman Schultz's office evacuated

Suspected bombs sent to Obama, Clinton homes, CNN studio

Packages intercepted by Secret Service linked to one found at New York home of billionaire George Soros earlier this week; pipe bomb sent to CNN addressed to ex-CIA director

Police officers stand in front of property owned by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, on October 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Police officers stand in front of property owned by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, on October 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Suspected explosive devices were sent to former president Barack Obama, defeated presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and to a building housing CNN’s New York bureau Wednesday, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Officials said investigators believe the devices discovered near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, the Obamas’ home in Washington, and the CNN office in New York were linked to one found Monday at the compound of liberal billionaire George Soros.

Officials said 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.

The office was alerted to the presence of the bomb during a live broadcast, with anchors evacuating as a fire alarm rang in the background.

An official earlier said one of the packages had the return address of Rep. Debbie 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 precise contents of the suspicious packages sent to Clinton and Obama were not immediately clear. There has been no claim of responsibility and no one was yet thought to have been arrested.

Police gather outside the Time Warner Center after a suspected explosive device was sent to the CNN offices on October 24, 2018, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

The Secret Service said the packages were “immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.”

“The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them,” it added.

US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hold hands as they walk off stage after both spoke at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Monday, November 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The White House condemned “the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures.”

“These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that that referred to the senders as “these cowards.” The statement did not mention Soros, a frequent target of US President Donald Trump and others on the right.

Hillary Clinton was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and was not at the family’s New York residence at the time. She is headlining a fundraising reception on Wednesday for former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who is running for Congress in South Florida.

In this file photo taken on January 06, 2000 US President Bill Clinton (L) walks down the driveway with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at their home in Chappaqua, New York. (Photo by Tim SLOAN / AFP)

Bill Clinton was at the family’s Chappaqua home at the time the package was intercepted at a Westchester County facility, said a person familiar with his schedule. The person said the device was screened at the facility — not in proximity to their residence — and never reached the Clintons’ home.

A law enforcement official told the AP that the package discovered at Soros’ home appeared to be a pipe bomb and was in a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound. A Soros employee opened it just inside the gates, not near Soros’ quarters, the official said.

In this photo from January 26, 2013, George Soros attends the World Economic Forum at the Swiss resort of Davos. (Eric Piermont/AFP)

Soros, who is frequently the target of right-wing or anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, was not at home at the time and bomb squad technicians defused the device, Bedford police said.

Born to a Jewish family in Hungary, the 88-year-old hedge fund tycoon has an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion, making him one of the world’s richest men, according to Forbes magazine.

Soros supported Clinton, Trump’s rival in the 2016 US presidential election, and has been accused by nationalists the world over of sponsoring protests and seeking to push a liberal, multicultural agenda.

His Open Society Foundations on Tuesday condemned the “hateful rhetoric that dominates politics in the United States and so many countries around the world,” noting it “breeds extremism and violence.

A New York Police Department Bomb Squad officer (R) walks out of the Time Warner Building on October 24, 2018. (Timothy A. Clark/AFP)

“In this climate of fear, falsehoods, and rising authoritarianism, just voicing your views can draw death threats,” it said.

Earlier this month Trump accused Soros of paying demonstrators to protest against the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of attempted rape in high school.

Trump’s claim was criticized in the media, with some accusing president of spreading an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

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