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Letter bombs
October 26, 2018

The FBI has confirmed that at least some of the 10 "potentially destructive devices" sent this week to prominent critics of President Trump were delivered through the U.S. Postal System, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed to Fox News on Thursday night that some of the packages originated in Florida. Several news organizations have reported that several of the packages passed through a postal facility in Opa-locka, in Miami-Dade County. The Miami-Dade Police Department said its bomb squad is helping federal partners at the USPS Opa-locka facility "as a precautionary measure."

But since none of the 10 explosive devices actually detonated while being handled in the postal facilities, "investigators now suspect that either a would-be bomb maker is inept or the packages were intended to spread fear rather than inflict injury or death," the Los Angeles Times reports, citing two people with knowledge of the investigation. "We are treating it as suspected explosive devices," New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters on Thursday. "This is something that should be taken seriously. As far as a hoax device, we're not treating it that way."

The bombs seized Wednesday were packed with what's believed to be pyrotechnic powder and broken glass, The Associated Press reports, based on X-rays seen by law enforcement officials. Authorities are warning that there could be other pipe bombs in the mail, and they could be lethal. Retired ATF explosives investigator Anthony May tells CNN that based on X-rays, he hasn't seen "enough means to initiate this device, whether by design, whether by accident," and if "it was designed that way, then the individual's motivation was simply to spread fear, instill fear." Peter Weber

October 25, 2018

A package very similar to the explosive devices sent to CNN and several prominent Democrats on Wednesday was received at actor Robert De Niro's Tribeca office building early Thursday, CNN reports. The envelope, addressed to De Niro, had six stamps and the return address listed as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's office, just like the other letter bombs. The New York Police Department is investigating; Lt. Thomas Antonetti told CNN that the NYPD got a call about the package just after 4 a.m.

CNN's Jim Acosta suggested that De Niro may have been targeted for his vocal criticism of President Trump and Trump's returned ire. "That's the commonality of this whole list, whether it's [Barack] Obama, [Eric] Holder, [Hillary] Clinton, CNN as an organization," he said. "And that is relevant information to investigators" because "it gets to motivation to whoever the attacker or attackers is." Peter Weber

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