New York Police stand outside the Time Warner Center.Source:AP
New York Police stand outside the Time Warner Center.Source:AP

New York in lockdown over pipe bomb threats

Pipe bomb threats in the U.S.  

THE blame game as begun between US President Donald Trump and one of his biggest critics - CNN - after exposive devices were sent to targets including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN's New York bureau.  

The bomb threats triggered mass evacuations and placed the United States on high alert.  

Secret Service agents intercepted what were believed to be pipe bombs, with New York City's police commissioner saying the package sent to CNN's offices at the Time Warner building contained a crude but "functional" device and an envelope containing white powder.  

It also had what looked like an Islamic State flag stuck to it.  

Donald Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon local time that he "will spare no resources" in trying to find the culprit.  

He said "this egregious conduct is abhorrent", adding that America would "have to unify" in these times.

US President Donald Trump has described the killing as one of the worst-ever cover-ups, saying “someone really messed up”.
US President Donald Trump has described the killing as one of the worst-ever cover-ups, saying “someone really messed up”.

At a major campaign rally in Wisconsin, Mr Trump said the threats were "an attack on our democracy itself," saying "we want all sides to come together in peace and harmony" - and he also took aim at the media, saying they are contributing to the problem.  

"There is one way to settle our disagreements: It's called peacefully, at the ballot box," Trump said to applause. ("If you're going to vote Democrat, don't bother," he later joked.)    

"The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks," he added.  

His comments come after CNN president Jeff Zucker lashed out at Mr Trump, criticising the seriousness of his attacks on media.  

"There is a complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," he said.  

"The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. So far, they have shown no comprehension of that."

Earlier: AT least five explosives now have been sent to targets including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN's New York bureau, triggering mass evacuations and placing the United States on high alert.

Secret Service agents intercepted what are thought to be pipe bombs, with New York City's police commissioner saying the package sent to CNN's offices at the Time Warner building contained a "functional" device and an envelope containing white powder.

A suspicious package addressed to Democratic California congresswoman Maxine Waters was intercepted at a Congressional mail facility and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz had also received a package - addressed to former Attorney-General Eric Holder and sent to her as the return addressee.

Ms Schultz's office in Sunrise, Florida, was evacuated after reports of a possible bomb threat with Broward Sheriff's Office using a bomb squad robot to investigate the suspicious package.

CNN is now reporting the Time Warner building has reopened and people are returning to work.

UDPATE 4am: DEVICES the FBI believe to be live explosive have been sent to multiple targets including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN's New York bureau, triggering mass evacuations and putting the city on high alert.

Secret Service agents intercepted what are thought to be pipe bombs, with New York City's police commissioner saying the package sent to CNN's offices at the Time Warner building contained a "functional" device and an envelope containing white powder.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a device had been sent to his office in Manhattan, with the NYPD deploying resources around the city in anticipation of more.

NYPD's chief of counterterrorism John Miller said the devices appeared to have been sent by the same person and all appeared to be crude pipe bombs. The device found in New York was black and had wires.

Mr Miller said the spate of suspicious packages began with an explosive found on Monday at the compound of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a major donor to Democratic liberal and causes.

The devices are still being analysed. One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the object at Mrs Clinton's suburban New York home was a "functional explosive device", while the CNN object also appears to be a crudely built pipe bomb.

The street beside the Columbus Circle building, where CNN is based, went into lockdown after the suspicious package was delivered to the mail room. The network's Evan Perez described the packages as "rudimentary but functional".

Donald Trump retweeted a tweet from Vice President Mike Pence saying they "condemned the attempted attacks" and that those responsible for the "despicable" actions would be brought to justice.

First Lady Melania Trump condemned "all forms of threats and violence".


The targets all appear to be left-wing, Democrat-linked figureheads and organisations.

The bomb was believed to be addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who appears on air on other broadcast and cable outlets, US media reports said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: "This is clearly an act of terror."

Police are expected to hold a media conference as soon as the situation at Columbus Circle is brought under control.

EARLIER: US Secret Service agents have intercepted packages containing "possible explosive devices" addressed to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Time Warner Center, triggering mass evacuations in New York.

The devices are still being analysed - but a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the object at the Clinton's suburban New York home was "functional explosive device", while the CNN object also appears to be a crudely built pipe bomb.

The street beside the Columbus Circle building, where CNN is based, has gone into lockdown after the suspicious package was delivered to the mail room. The network's Evan Perez described the packages as "rudimentary but functional".

The bomb was believed to be addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who appears on air on other broadcast and cable outlets, US media reports said.

Officers with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service talk at a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama in Washington. Picture: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Officers with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service talk at a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama in Washington. Picture: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

 

 

Police are expected to hold a media conference as soon as the situation at Columbus Circle is brought under control.

The Secret Service said neither Ms Clinton nor Mr Obama received the packages, and neither was at risk of receiving them because of screening procedures.

It said the devices were discovered late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Reports a suspicious device was found in a parcel addressed to the White House appear to be false.

 

 

 

 

The alert sent to New Yorkers.
The alert sent to New Yorkers.

A US official told the Associated Press a "functional explosive device" was found during screening at Bill and Hillary Clintons' suburban home in Chappaqua, Westchester County, late on Tuesday.

Police put the suspicious package addressed to Mrs. Clinton in a "bomb disposal containment unit", where it is now being analysed.

The official said investigators believe the explosive is linked to one found Monday at the compound of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a major donor to Democratic liberal and causes.

That device was found to be a pipe bomb.

Both packages had United State Postal Service stamps on them, the official said.

The Secret Service said a second package was addressed to Mr Obama and was intercepted in Washington.

In a statement, the agency said it "has intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees," who were identified as Ms Clinton and Mr Obama.

The statement continued: "The Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible."

CNN employees said authorities told them that when the package was x-rayed, it looked like a pipe bomb with wires attached. The NYPD bomb squad attended the scene and evacuated occupants away from the building.

Locals living near the Time Warner Centre told news.com.au police arrived incredibly quickly - but the frequent bomb scares have left them almost too afraid to live there.

 

 

Yellow police tape has been put up across normally busy streets, while the sound of traffic has been replaced by loud sirens from emergency vehicles.

Senior counter-terror officials are at the scene.

An emergency alert was sent to New Yorkers asking residents on W 58th Street between Columbus Circle and 8th Avenue to "take shelter immediately".

According to Associated Press, one of the packages had the return address of Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a reference to the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

CNN reported that Ms Wasserman Schultz's Florida office was also evacuated on Wednesday after a suspicious package was mailed there.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: "These terrorising acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

"The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards."


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