New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are speaking out regarding the explosive devices that were addressed to CNN and multiple Democratic political figures along the East Coast this week

By Maura Hohman
October 24, 2018 02:54 PM
Jason Szenes/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are speaking out regarding the explosive devices that were addressed to CNN and multiple Democratic political figures along the East Coast this week.

De Blasio and Cuomo both attended a press conference Wednesday afternoon in New York City, where at least two of the packages were intended to land. One was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan at the Time Warner Center in New York City, where CNN is based. The other was for Cuomo’s Manhattan offices.

“What we saw here today is an effort to terrorize. This clearly is an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of the country through acts of violence,” said the mayor, a Democrat. “I want to make very clear that the people in New York City will not be intimidated, that we are going to go about our lives undeterred because the very concept of terrorism is to change us, and we will not allow that to happen.”

De Blasio went on to thank NYPD and FDNY officials for their swift response and noted that there are no other credible threats against other locations in New York City. He also stressed that this is an ongoing investigation, and that there is increased police presence at major media organizations’ headquarters.

Next, Cuomo spoke to the crowd.

“This is the world we live in. Terrorism, the attempt to spread fear is the world that we live in,” he stated. “In some ways, this is nothing new. We have lived with this for a long time… Terrorism only works if you let it work. What they are trying to do is scare us and destabilize us. We will not allow that to happen… We will not allow these terrorist thugs to change the way we live our lives.”

Taking the stand a second time later on, the governor talked about the logistics of the attacks.

“There’s a number of devices and there’s a pattern, apparently, to the number of devices,” he explained. “We wouldn’t be at all surprised if more devices show up.”

Cuomo, who’s also a Democrat, then shared with reporters that he had just received news that a device had been addressed to his local office, adding that the situation had been “handled.”

On Wednesday, potential explosive devices were found in packages addressed to the offices of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, the Secret Service confirmed in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“Late on October 23, 2018, the Secret Service recovered a single package addressed to Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County, New York. Early this morning, October 24, 2018, a second package addressed to Former President Barack Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, D.C.,” the statement said.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them. The Secret Service has 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.”

A law enforcement official told the New York Times that the devices were similar to one found on Monday at the New York-suburb residence of billionaire Democrat philanthropist George Soros, who was not home at the time. That device was “proactively detonated” by bomb squad technicians, according to another law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement condemning the attacks.

“These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards,” she said.

Also on Wednesday, the NYPD responded to a suspicious device discovered in CNN’s offices, the outlet reported, citing a law enforcement source. The device, which was reportedly made from a pipe and wires, was discovered in the mailroom of Time Warner Center, according to CNN. Law enforcement authorities are treating the device as a real explosive, CNN said.

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Another suspicious package arrived at the Sunrise, Florida, offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic rep for Florida’s 23 congressional district. According to a local NBC affiliate, a Broward Sheriff’s Office bomb squad unit and firefighters responded to the threat and FBI agents also investigated the scene.

The package in question was actually intended for former Attorney General Eric Holder, but the address was incorrect so it was sent to Wasserman Schultz. Her Florida office address was the return address on all the packages, NBC News reported.

No injuries have been reported as a result of any of the attempted bombings.