DIY ‘pipe bomb’ found in suspicious package sent to CNN in New York City
The suspicious package mailed to CNN‘s New York offices on Wednesday contained a live explosive described by authorities as a “pipe bomb.”
CNN reporter Jim Acosta shared photos of the package on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, after a police bomb squad removed it from the Time Warner Center building in downtown Manhattan. The building was evacuated after the package was identified, and no one was harmed.
Authorities intercepted several other packages addressed to high-profile individuals linked to the Democratic Party on Wednesday, including former president Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton. A similar package was also sent to liberal philanthropist George Soros at his home in New York state on Monday.
“So far the devices have been what appear to be pipe bombs,” FBI Special Agent C. Bryan Paarmann said Wednesday.
No one has been injured and no suspects have been arrested.
WATCH: FBI confirms device left outside CNN building was a pipe bomb
Whoever sent the package to CNN addressed it to former CIA director John Brennan, an on-air contributor and critic of U.S. President Donald Trump. The individual listed Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz as the sender, and included her constituency office’s address in Sunrise, Fla., on the envelope.
The envelope also contained white powder, FBI officials said. The NYPD commissioner says the substance is being examined to determine whether it is dangerous.
CNN chief Jeff Zucker told employees in a statement that the building was evacuated in “an abundance of caution, as a result of a suspicious package having been received in the mailroom.”
WATCH BELOW: Time Warner Center evacuated due to suspicious package
Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the package contained a crude but operational pipe bomb. The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The photos Acosta shared appear to show the pipe bomb itself. The cylindrical object appears to be held together with black electrical tape, and a wire is visible running out of one end. It’s unclear how the individual who designed the device planned to trigger it.
FBI officials and John Miller, the NYPD’s chief of counterterrorism, said at a news conference that all of the suspicious packages identified on Wednesday appeared to contain crude pipe bombs.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the pipe bomb sent to CNN appeared to be live.
A pipe bomb is an improvised explosive device contained within a piece of metal piping. It can unleash approximately 2.25 kilograms of explosive force when detonated, according to a fact sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Bomb-makers can increase the mayhem caused by one of these devices by packing shrapnel or nails in with the explosive material, which is often gunpowder.
WATCH BELOW: Potential explosive devices sent to Obama, Clintons, CNN
“Pipe bombs are extremely effective [improvised explosive devices] and are easily constructed from off-the-shelf materials,” according to a 2004 handout from the U.S. DHS.
DHS recommends evacuating up to 21 metres away from a pipe bomb within a building, or 366 metres feet away from the bomb when outdoors.
U.S. President Donald Trump has frequently targeted CNN in his attacks on the media, which he describes as the “enemy of the people” and “fake news.” Trump also routinely attacks Obama and the Clintons.
Soros figures prominently in several far-right conspiracy theories.
WATCH BELOW: Suspected explosive device found at George Soros’ home
The president condemned the incident on Wednesday. “In these times we have to unify, we have to come together,” he said. “Acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
— With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
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