FBI arrests man suspected of sending suspicious packages

Washington: The FBI on Friday arrested a man suspected of sending packages containing suspected explosives in recent days to major Democratic Party figures and critics of President Donald Trump, the Justice Department said.

The individual was arrested in Florida, Efe news quoted the federal government agency as saying.

“We can confirm one person is in custody,” Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman, wrote on Twitter.

The arrest comes after 12 people received suspicious packages containing suspected explosives in the last few days, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The last two suspicious packages, intercepted on Friday in Florida and New York, were addressed to Democratic Senator Cory Booker and to the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

None of the packages exploded though they have elevated the level of alert of US authorities as they fear more packages will be found in the coming days.

The FBI said Friday on Twitter that a similar package was found in Florida addressed to Senator Booker, who is considered a possible contender in the 2020 presidential election.

The New York Police Department (NYPD), for its part, intercepted a suspicious package on Friday addressed to Clapper at a post office in Manhattan.

The discovery of suspicious packages containing suspected explosives began on Monday when billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a known Democratic donor, received one at his home in the state of New York.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, two packages were sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama, while other similar packages were sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former CIA Director John Brenan and CNN’s New York offices.

The fact that all of the packages were addressed to members of the Democratic Party or to Trump critics suggests a possible political motivation.

This comes less than two weeks ahead of the November 6 mid-term elections taking place in the US.

Trump acknowledged on Friday that the discovery of the suspicious packages could affect Republican candidates’ momentum for the mid-term elections, in which a third of the seats in the House of Representatives and all of the seats in the Senate are up for grabs.