First reported by (RNN)
Federal law enforcement officials made an arrest Friday in connection to the mass mail bombings plot targeting high-profile Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump, said a Justice Department spokesperson.
Sarah Isgur Flores, director of public affairs for the DOJ, said on Twitter that one person was in custody, and the agency scheduled a 2:30 p.m. ET news conference.
Police in Plantation, FL, blocked off roads in the area, and multiple law enforcement officials and vehicles were spotted in the community. A white van with several stickers covering the windows was wrapped in a blue tarp as it was prepared to be towed away under the watch of police.
No official word from the FBI has confirmed the arrest.
Also Friday, the 11th and 12th explosive devices were discovered. Federal officials searching a mail facility Friday in Florida discovered a new suspicious package similar to the other ones containing pipe bombs – this one addressed to Sen. Cory Booker.
The NYPD removed another potential explosive device, via bomb containment unit, found at a postal facility in Manhattan. This one was addressed to James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence and CNN contributor, and sent to CNN’s New York office at Time Warner Center.
Officials described all of the devices as functional, but none have detonated. The FBI warns more could be out there.
Actor Robert De Niro, who was targeted with a package sent to his New York office, released a statement Friday.
“I thank God no one’s been hurt, and I thank the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for protecting us,” he said. “There’s something more powerful than bombs, and that’s your vote. People must vote!”
The investigation into the mail bombs led authorities to parts of southern Florida, including a postal facility in the city of Opa-locka, where officials believe some of the packages might have originated. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed on Thursday that some of them originated in Florida.
The list of potential victims reads like a list of Trump’s most notable critics or targets of his verbal attacks. At around 3 a.m. Friday, Trump took to Twitter to deflect blame that his angry rhetoric may have played a role in inspiring this and other violent attacks.
Other packages were sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, De Niro, and former CIA Director John Brennan, whose package was sent care of CNN. Two devices each were sent to addresses for Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We have to keep to doing what we’re doing in order to make this country right,” said Waters said in an interview with Blavity. “That’s what I intend to do and, as the young people say, ‘I ain’t scared.’”
The first, sent to Soros, was discovered Monday at his New York home. Authorities intercepted the remaining packages over the coming days before they reached their targets.
The packages have all contained explosives resembling crude pipe bombs. Investigators are examining them to see if they were meant to detonate or simply to intimidate.
The FBI is warning Americans to remain vigilant, because the suspect could have mailed other potentially explosive packages that authorities haven’t uncovered.
The agency is asking for the public’s help in catching the person responsible. On Thursday, it released a statement describing the packages:
“The packages were mailed in manila envelopes with bubble wrap interior, and were affixed with computer-printed address labels and six Forever stamps. They had a return address of “DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ” [sic] in Florida. The packages, which are all similar in appearance and contain potentially destructive devices, are being sent for analysis at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.”
The FBI warned people not to touch any suspicious packages but to call 911 or their local law enforcement agency.
Those with information about the case are asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
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