By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
Multiple suspicious packages were intercepted in various locations around the United States on Wednesday.
Those targeted include vocal critics of President Donald Trump and his administration policies.
Former President Bill Clinton and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Former President Barack Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder and former Obama administration member John Brennan were all the targets of the packages that contained white powder and explosives.
U.S. Capitol police intercepted a suspicious package at a processing facility that was addressed to outspoken Trump critic and high-ranking Democrat, California Rep. Maxine Waters. ”
“I have been informed by U.S. Capitol Police that my Washington, DC office was the target of a suspicious package that has been referred to the FBI. 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,” Waters said in a statement following news of discovery of the package.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also was reported to have received a suspicious package as did CNN, which evacuated its New York City office. Earlier, a package also was sent to billionaire investor and major Democratic donor George Soros.
The website TMZ reported that the packages each listed the office of former Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who reportedly also received a suspicious package in her Florida office on Wednesday, as the return address.
“The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) opposes political violence and intimidation,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are keys to all democracies. We demand freedom,” Chavis said.
A law enforcement official told CNN that the initial examination of all of the devices shows them to be constructed similarly. At least one of the devices appeared to contain projectiles, including shards of glass. The devices are rudimentary but functional, CNN reported.
The suspicious package sent to Wasserman-Schultz’s Florida office was intended for Holder but had the wrong address, two law enforcement sources said. It was returned to the Democratic congresswoman because that was the return label on the package, the sources said, adding that it was the same return address for the packages sent to Obama and Clinton.
There is no information that suggests Wasserman-Schultz sent the packages. The bomb squad was investigating the package discovered at Wasserman Schultz’s office, a local police spokesman said.
“This clearly is an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an afternoon news conference.
Trump called an afternoon news conference to address the situation.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi praised first responders.
“Once again, we are reminded of the heroism of America’s first responders as they work to counter these attempted attacks,” Pelosi said. “The goal of terrorists is to instill fear. We will not allow them to diminish our commitment to building a brighter future for communities across America,” she said.