Suspect arrested after explosive devices sent to Trump critics and CNN

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Sophie Tatum, Eric Levenson, Brian Ries, Paul P. Murphy and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 2:25 p.m. ET, November 5, 2018
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5:39 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

The packages were mailed in manila envelopes with 6 Forever stamps

The packages sent today were mailed in manila envelopes, had six Forever stamps and labeled with the Florida return address of "DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ" (sic), the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI said the packages were addressed to:

  • Former President Barack Obama
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Former CIA Director John Brennan, in the care of CNN
  • Major Democratic donor George Soros

They said the packages were similar in appearance and contained what they described as "potentially destructive devices."

5:30 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

How officials will investigate the device delivered to CNN

From CNN's Mark Morales and Brynn Gingras

The NYPD is reviewing footage from multiple locations, according to a law enforcement official. 

This footage is being examined by both the NYPD Detectives Bureau as well as the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is a task force comprised of FBI and NYPD.

The device delivered to CNN is currently at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx and it’s still being tested, the official added. 

Once authorities are finished with the device, it will be sent to Quantico, where further testing will be done on the materials to determine what they are. Additionally, officials will determine how the device would function and who could have put it together. 

The device delivered to CNN was capable of detonating, but it was unclear what kind of damage it would have done, according to two law enforcement sources. 

5:19 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

New York governor doubles security at key points

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is doubling security at key areas across the New York City metro area.

"Out of an abundance of caution, I am deploying 100 additional National Guard soldiers and directing State law enforcement to double security at vital assets across New York," the governor said in a press release.

The infrastructure points include:

  • LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports in New York,
  • Mass transit systems
  • The Staten Island crossings
  • The George Washington, RFK, Verrazzano-Narrows, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Henry Hudson, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Mario M. Cuomo Bridges
  • The Lincoln, Holland, Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown Tunnels

"New Yorkers have never succumbed to fear or intimidation, and today will be no different," Cuomo said. "We are tough, we are resilient and we will not allow terrorist thugs to change the way we lead our lives. We will not let terrorism win — not today, not ever."

4:56 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

FBI says more packages could have been mailed to other locations

The FBI is warning the public to remain vigilant after bombs and suspicious packages were intercepted.

"It is possible that additional packages were mailed to other locations," the FBI said in a statement. "[Do] not touch, move or handle any suspicious or unknown packages."

The FBI is asking the public for help with information on the bombs and suspicious packages.

“We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call," FBI Director Christopher Wray said. "No piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation.”

Anyone with information about the bombs and packages is urged to call the FBI at (800) CALL-FBI or visit

If you observe any suspicious activity that requires an immediate response, please call 911 or contact your local law enforcement.

4:43 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

Bombs and packages will be sent to FBI lab for analysis

The FBI said the bomb and suspicious packages received over the last two days will be sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.

“This investigation is of the highest priority for the FBI," FBI director Chris Wray said in a statement.

"We have committed the full strength of the FBI’s resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages," he added.

4:41 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "This appalling attack on our democracy must be vigorously prosecuted"

From CNN's Dan Merica and Tammy Kupperman 

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she has been in direct contact with the FBI and other law enforcement after her office in Sunrise, Florida, received a bomb this morning.

"We are asking anyone with useful information to contact the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI."

The Congresswoman added that this "attempted act of violence" won't intimidate anyone.

"This appalling attack on our democracy must be vigorously prosecuted, and I am deeply disturbed by the way my name was used," she said in the statement. "Today, my staff and I will hug each other and our loved ones tightly, and tomorrow get back to work serving the people I was elected to represent."


4:38 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

Democratic leaders: Trump's remarks are "hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence"

From CNN's Joe Johns 

Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York issued a joint statement on Wednesday, calling President Trump's remarks earlier in the day regarding suspicious packages "hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence."  

Here's more from the statement:

"Time and time again, the President has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions: expressing support for the Congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protestors, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people," the statement continued.

Catch up on what Trump said earlier in the clip below:

4:29 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

Mitt Romney: "Hate acts follow hate speech"

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney responded to Wednesday's events, referring to them "disgusting" and "vile threats." Romney, who is running for US Senate in Utah, also called out "hate speech."

"Disgusting, vile threats and actions against fellow Americans and our institutions are sadly unsurprising: hate acts follow hate speech," he tweeted.

It is past time for us to turn down and tune out the rabid rhetoric."

Here's his message:

4:12 p.m. ET, October 24, 2018

Here's where suspicious devices were mailed

Authorities intercepted bombs intended for former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was evacuated Wednesday after a suspicious package was mailed there.

Also, CNN's New York bureau in the Time Warner Center was evacuated after a package with an explosive device, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, was discovered, city and local law enforcement officials said.

And on Monday, a suspicious package targeting billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros was rendered safe in Bedford, New York, a law enforcement source told CNN.

In addition, sources told CNN that a suspicious package intended for California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters was intercepted at a congressional mail screening facility in Maryland.