CNN: Feds Arrest Man in Florida in Connection to Suspicious Devices

CNN: Feds Arrest Man in Florida in Connection to Suspicious Devices

Overview

 

By Spectrum News Staff

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. — A man has been arrested in Florida in connection to the dozen suspected explosive devices addressed to critics of President Donald Trump, CNN is reporting.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

9:30 a.m.:

The number of suspicious mail packages intercepted that investigators say contained crude bombs increased to a dozen after two more were found Friday.

Law enforcement recovered an 11th package in Florida addressed to Sen. Cory Booker. The 12th package was found at a NYC post office; it was addressed to former intelligence director James Clapper.

The packages, all found this week, contained crude explosive devices, the FBI has said, and have been sent to vocal critics of President Donald Trump.

Other packages recovered this week targeted former President Barack Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan, Rep. Maxine Waters and billionaire philanthropist George Soros, among others.

9:17 a.m.:

AP has reported a 12th package was found at a NYC post office addressed to former intelligence director James Clapper.

Clapper told CNN on Friday morning that the devices sent to prominent critics of Trump were “definitely domestic terrorism.”

8:45 a.m.:

An 11th suspicious package was recovered in Florida, the FBI said. It was similar to the other crude bomb devices recovered this week in the mail, addressed to Democratic politicians or critics of President Donald Trump. The suspicious package was addressed to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, whose name has been floated as a possible 2020 presidential candidate.

7:30 a.m.:

President Donald Trump took to social media in the middle of the night, reiterating his distrust at the media.

In a tweet posted just before 3:30 a.m. EDT, he said he thinks groups like CNN are blaming him for the bombs being sent.

The president also claimed comparisons to 9/11 and and the Oklahoma City bombing are circulating. He also claimed a double-standard when it comes to criticism, saying when he criticizes the media, they “go wild and scream it’s just not presidential.”

As for the reference to the Oklahoma City bombing, some have compared the bomb plot to what’s been termed “homegrown terrorism,” though authorities have not released any details on who may have mailed the crude bomb devices or why.

Earlier:

The focus is now on Florida, with law enforcement officials now confirming at least some of the packages originated there. Authorities think several of the packages went through processing and distribution at a center in Opa-Locka, Florida, near Miami.

Miami-Dade Police tweeted Thursday night: “Our Bomb Squad & K-9 Unit are currently providing assistance to our federal partners at the USPS Opa-Locka mail facility as part of the ongoing investigation into suspicious packages located in other jurisdictions.”

The distribution center handles mail incoming and outgoing from South Florida.

Three more devices were linked to the plot Thursday — two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and one to actor Robert De Niro — bringing the total to 10 in an outbreak of politically loaded menace with little, if any, precedent.

All 10 similar-looking packages had the same return address: South Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

And although initially it was thought that some of the packages were hand-delivered, investigators tell The New York Times that it’s now thought that all 10 crude bomb devices were sent through the mail.

Authorities warned there might well be more.

On Thursday night, The New York Police Department said a report of two unattended packages at the Time Warner Center was a false alarm. The NYPD had said it had evaluated the packages “as a precaution.”

The packages have been addressed to people such as former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the CNN offices in New York City and Rep. Maxine Waters of California. The common thread among them was obvious: critical words for Trump and frequent, harsher criticism in return.

Details suggested a pattern: that the items were packaged in Manila envelopes, addressed to prominent Trump critics and carried U.S. postage stamps. The devices were being examined by technicians at the FBI’s forensic lab in Quantico, Virginia.

Besides looking at the packages, law enforcement will also be looking at the devices themselves for any clues as to where the materials were purchased. They hope that will help narrow down their search for a suspect.

The FBI tweeted Friday that it’s asking for the public’s help for clues.

Agents are encouraging people to call 1-800-CALL-FBI with tips.