US federal authorities have intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the federal law enforcement agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The US Secret Service has intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees," the statement said, adding that one package sent to Clinton residence in Westchester County, New York was found on Tuesday, while the second one addressed to Obama was found early Wednesday morning.
On Packages Sent to Clinton and Obama
The incidents have prompted federal authorities to launch a full-scale criminal investigation to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible, the Secret Service added.
Following the reports on suspicious packages, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the person or persons responsible for sending explosive devices to former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be held accountable.
"We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures," Sanders said. "These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
Shortly after the reports that former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received suspected explosive devices in the mail, a suspicious package has been sent to the White House, media reported. However, later, the US Secret Service said in a statement that reports of a third suspicious package sent to the White House are incorrect.
"At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages — one in NY and one in D.C.," the agency said via Twitter. "Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect."
On CNN Building Evacuation
In addition, the New York offices of US cable news channel CNN have been evacuated on Wednesday morning after a suspicious device was discovered in the building's mail room. Shortly after, the US media outlet CNN reported that a suspicious device found at its offices in New York has been removed from the site.
Following the reports, the police stated that the package appeared to have an explosive device and an envelope with white powder inside. Later in the day, the FBI specified that the explosive devices appeared to be pipe bombs.
This is the device addressed to the former CIA director c/o CNN. The NYPD took it to the Bronx for detonation. pic.twitter.com/DL9he06orm— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) 24 октября 2018 г.
The suspicious package was addressed to former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, who is a CNN contributor and critic of US President Donald Trump, the media outlet reported citing local and city law enforcement officials.
The device found at the CNN offices in New York is the fourth potential explosive device discovered over the past 48 hours. In addition to the suspicious devices sent to Obama and Clinton, a similar device was found at the home of billionaire George Soros.