The Los Angeles Police Department was among numerous law enforcement organizations Wednesday keeping a close watch on the investigation into suspicious packages addressed to political leaders including Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Another suspicious package was found at a congressional mail-sorting center at the U.S. Capitol, and it was addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.
“I have been informed by U.S. Capitol Police that my Washington, D.C., office was the target of a suspicious package that has been referred to the FBI,” Waters said. “I am appreciative of the law enforcement entities who intercepted the package and are investigating this matter. I unequivocally condemn any and all acts of violence and terror.”
In response to the wave of suspicious packages, which prompted some evacuations but caused no injuries, the LAPD issued a statement saying, “We are aware of the suspicious packages sent to several locations on the East Coast. Right now, there is no nexus to Los Angeles. However, we are monitoring the situation and communicating with our federal and local law enforcement partners.”
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Secret Service said it had intercepted packages containing “potential explosive devices” addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York and former President Barack Obama in Washington, while authorities also rushed to investigate a suspicious package sent to CNN’s headquarters in New York. Suspicious packages also were sent to former CIA chief John Brennan. The return address on at least one of the packages was that of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz, whose office received one of the items when it could not be delivered to the addressee.
The packages were discovered days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the Bedford, N.Y., home of George Soros, the liberal philanthropist who is a frequent target of criticism from far-right groups.
The devices sent to the Clintons and Obamas were found during screening and did not make it to them, officials said. The Secret Service said the package addressed to the Chappaqua, N.Y., home of the Clintons was recovered late Tuesday.
The package sent to the Obamas’ Washington home was intercepted early Wednesday, authorities said.
The devices sent to the Clintons and Obamas are suspected to be the work of the same person who sent a similar device to Soros earlier this week, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity.
These mail bombs prompted security and law enforcement officials across the country to take a hard look at incoming pieces of mail to look for other, undiscovered bombs.
Authorities urged anyone who receives a suspicious package to contact law enforcement, the official said.
CNN’s headquarters at the Time Warner Center in New York was evacuated Wednesday morning due to a suspicious package found there. Also evacuated for a time was the building housing the San Diego Union-Tribune and an office of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., following the discovery of suspicious items, but that evacuation was lifted when the boxes were determined to contain everyday items.
CNN broadcast footage of its staffers outside on the Manhattan streets below, where anchor Jim Sciutto could be seen on a cellphone reporting that he was told a suspicious package was mailed to the CNN building.
Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, wrote in a letter to employees that the center was “evacuated out of an abundance of caution” after the package was found in the mailroom. He also told employees that CNN had checked on its other bureaus but found no other devices.