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Explosive devices found in mail sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama
[NEW YORK] Two explosive devices were found in mail sent to the offices of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Secret Service said Wednesday.
The devices were similar to one found Monday at the home of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, two law enforcement officials said.
In a statement, the Secret Service said it "has intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees," who were identified as Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama.
The device addressed to Mrs Clinton in Westchester County was found late Tuesday by a Secret Service technician who screens mail for her office, the statement said. The package addressed to Mr Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, DC, early Wednesday.
"The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the statement said. "The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them."
The statement said the agency had "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."
Mr Soros' home is in a suburb north of New York City. That device was constructed from a length of pipe about 6 inches long filled with explosive powder, and it was "proactively detonated" by bomb squad technicians, according to one of the officials, all of whom were briefed on the investigation.
The motive of the would-be Soros bomber or bombers remained unclear, one of the officials said, adding that there had not yet been any claim of responsibility.
Mr Soros, who made his fortune in finance and is now a full-time philanthropist and political activist, is often a subject of the ire of right-wing groups. In recent days, some have falsely speculated that he funded a caravan of migrants moving north in Mexico.
It is unclear where exactly the package addressed to Mrs Clinton was sent. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have a home in Chappaqua, a suburb of New York City. They bought their 11-room Dutch Colonial home in the affluent enclave in 1999 for US$1.7 million as Bill Clinton ended his tenure in the White House.