US probes explosives sent to top Democrats | News | DW | 25.10.2018
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US probes explosives sent to top Democrats

Authorities are searching for "the individual or individuals" behind a wave of foiled attacks targeting prominent Democrats. With dozens of tools at their disposal, it may not take long to find the perpetrators.

Investigators on Wednesday were searching for the suspect or suspects behind a wave of pipe bombs sent to prominent US figures.

At least seven packages containing pipe bombs, some filled with shards of glass, were intercepted before reaching their targets, which included former President Barack Obama and ex-State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The bombs were made from PVC pipe and packed with a white powder and broken glass. They included a small battery, according to a law enforcement official. The packages, along with the bombs, were sent to an FBI laboratory in Virginia.

"Suffice it to say, it appears an individual or individuals sent out multiple, similar packages," said John Miller, who heads intelligence and counterterrorism at the New York Police Department.

Read more: Opinion: Politically motivated violence in Trump's America is no surprise

A photo of one of the packages carrying a pipe bomb

The packages were all nearly identical

'Human involved'

Experts have noted that with today's technologies, it's nearly impossible to not track down the perpetrator.

"If there is a human involved, there is a high probability you're going to get somewhere investigatively," Larry Johnson, who used to head criminal investigations for the US Secret Service, told The Associated Press.

One of the first steps investigators will take is to retrace the path of the packages and see if they can find the post office where the bombs were sent from.

The US Postal Service operates a complex imaging system that takes an image of each package to log its origin. In 2013, the system was used to determine where poison ricin mailed to Obama and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had originated from.

But that's not the only way. Investigators will also be looking at the bombs parts and how it was made while seeking witness accounts and video footage to piece together the clues from the foiled attacks that spanned the country.

Read more: Donald Trump is 'a clear and imminent danger' to the world, says Ralph Nader

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ls/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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