WASHINGTON (AP) Suspicious packages addressed to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and similar in appearance to pipe bomb devices sent to other prominent Democrats have been intercepted, the FBI said Friday, as investigators scrambled from coast to coast to locate the culprit and motives behind a bizarre plot aimed at critics of President Donald Trump.
The discoveries brought to 12 the total number of devices addressed in recent days to Democratic figures including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.
The FBI said the package to Booker was intercepted in Florida. The one discovered at a Manhattan postal facility was addressed to Clapper c/o CNN. An earlier package had been sent to former Obama CIA Director John Brennan in care of CNN in New York.
Investigators were analyzing the innards of the crude devices to reveal whether they were intended to detonate or simply sow fear just before Election Day.
Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the devices, containing timers and batteries, were not rigged like booby-trapped package bombs that would explode upon opening. But they were uncertain whether the devices were poorly designed or never intended to cause physical harm.
A search of a postal database suggested at least some may have been mailed from Florida, one official said.
Investigators are homing in on a postal facility in Opa-locka, Florida, where they believe some of the packages originated, another official said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in an interview Thursday night with Fox News Channel, acknowledged that some of packages originated in Florida.