In the wake of incidents involving pipe bombs sent to the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton and political activist George Soros in Westchester, area officials in Westchester are teaming with federal officials to increase security in the region.
On Wednesday, pipe bombs that were headed to the home of the Clintons in Chappaqua and former President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. were intercepted by Secret Service members.
Explosives were also received at CNN in Manhattan (addressed to former CIA director John Brennan) as well as other Democratic leaders. On Monday, a pipe bomb was also found in the mailbox of Soros in Katonah.
All recipients of the packages are seen as high-profile Democrats and, in Brennan's case, a critic of President Donald Trump.
“At this time of heightened alert, after the delivery of two explosive devices to prominent Westchester residents and others around the country, I want to remind everyone to be extra vigilant,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., said in a statement. “If you see something, say something. Our mission is to keep Westchester safe and, with that in mind, the District Attorney’s Office is working with our law enforcement partners at the county, state and federal levels to serve that mission in every way we can.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that County Police is teaming with the FBI and Secret Service to ensure that local residents remain safe. Security was doubled at busy transportation outlets around the area, including the new Tappan Zee Bridge, Laguardia and JFK airports and other major bridges and tunnels.
“In the aftermath of suspicious devices found this week in Westchester County, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety is continuing to assist the FBI and U.S. Secret Service in its ongoing investigations. County Police are receiving real-time intelligence about any potential new threats in Westchester County from the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force, New York State Police, other joint federal-local task forces and the NYPD Real Time Crime Center.”
Following the bomb scares, Westchester County Police will also be:
- Increasing their oversight of the mail-screening and mail-handling process at the County Office Building in White Plains and other county facilities;
- Activating the county Multi-Agency Coordinating System, which serves as a clearinghouse of relevant information on these incidents to be shared with municipal police departments throughout Westchester;
- Sharing guidance with elected officials and others on how to identify any potential suspicious packages that might be delivered to them.
“County Police assets, including the Hazardous Devices Unit and the Real Time Crime Center, continue to stand ready to respond to any new incident or assist any federal, state or local law enforcement agency as needed," Latimer stated. “We ask that all county residents remain vigilant. This is a highly charged political season. It is ok to disagree, but we must never turn to violence or threats of violence to settle those differences. While we might not share the same political beliefs with our neighbors – we must remember that we are neighbors first and foremost.”
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