The Slatest

Man Reportedly Arrested in Connection to String of Pipe Bombs Sent to Prominent Democrats

Police stand around in the background with emergency vehicles and behind police tape. One officer, reading from what appears to be a notepad, walks forward under the tape.
Police on the scene where a suspicious package was found in Midtown Manhattan on Friday. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

A man has been arrested in Florida in connection to the investigation into the explosive packages that have been sent to prominent Democrats over the past week, CNN reported Friday.

Two more packages were intercepted Friday, bringing the total number of explosive devices found this week to 12. The two discovered Friday were addressed to Sen. Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (via the CNN offices in New York).

The package intended for Booker was intercepted at a mail facility in Florida, the state from which authorities now believe some of the packages were sent.

ABC News reported that the package intended for Booker but intercepted in Florida has been “rendered safe.” None of the devices have detonated, and law enforcement officials said Thursday that at least some of the bombs were incapable of exploding. It is not yet known if that defect was intentional or a design flaw, and if the bombs were intended to harm their intended recipients or simply sow fear.

The first package was delivered to liberal donor George Soros’ home in New York on Monday. On Wednesday, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan (whose package was addressed to CNN’s New York offices, prompting an evacuation), and Rep. Maxine Waters, whose name appeared on two packages, were all targeted. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was listed on most packages as the return address. Her office in Sunrise, Florida, was evacuated when the package addressed to Holder was returned.

On Thursday, three more packages were found, with one addressed to actor and Trump critic Robert De Niro and the two others addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Like the others, the packages addressed to Booker and Clapper were sent in manila envelopes with Wasserman Schultz’s office as the return address. The other bombs have included shards of glass along with explosive powder, but law enforcement have said they were not rigged to explode upon opening. At least some of the devices have been delivered through U.S. mail, and authorities have said one or two were likely hand-delivered.

Experts at the FBI’s forensic lab in Quantico, Virginia, are examining the devices for evidence. Investigators are still looking for other suspicious packages that could appear, and they are warning the public to remain vigilant.

Also on Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted twice about the bombs: once at 3 a.m. to criticize CNN, one of the targets of the attack, for criticizing him in its coverage, and again later in the morning to suggest that the “ ‘Bomb’ stuff” was distracting voters.