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More suspicious packages sent to Joe Biden, actor Robert De Niro

By Clyde Hughes and Danielle Haynes
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More suspicious packages sent to Joe Biden, actor Robert De Niro
Police officers with dogs stand at the ready in New York City on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office/Twitter

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Authorities retrieved three more suspicious packages Thursday, two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware and one to Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro in Manhattan, officials said.

Police said the packages appeared to be similar to several others found Wednesday addressed to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. A total of 10 packages containing suspected explosive devices were found between Tuesday and Thursday.

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John Miller, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, told reporters a retired NYPD Intelligence Bureau detective working for De Niro tipped police off about the suspicious package sent to the actor's production company in the Tribeca neighborhood. Miller said the retired detective recognized the packages when he saw images of them on the news Wednesday evening.

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"It struck him that they looked very much like a package he had seen Tuesday for" Robert De Niro's production company, Tribeca Productions, Miller said during a news conference with the FBI and U.S. Postal Service. "He called the bomb squad directly."

RELATED Explosive devices sent to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN

The package at De Niro's building included a return address in Florida for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee. Other packages sent to prominent Democrats on Wednesday also listed a return address for Wasserman Schultz's South Florida office. The one addressed to Holder ended up at the Sunrise, Fla., office because its address to Holder was incorrect, officials said.

Packages to Biden were found at two different post offices, one in New Castle and the other in Wilmington. Both were located early Thursday, the Delaware News Journal reported.

The post office in New Castle was evacuated and its mail trucks moved to other locations, WPVI-TV reported. Local authorities said the FBI has taken over the investigation. The News Journal said that the Wilmington post office remained open Thursday.

RELATED Explosive device found in George Soros' mailbox

Authorities swept Biden's Greenville, Del., home Wednesday and found nothing suspicious, the Delaware News Journal reported.

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CNN's New York City offices at the Time Warner Center were evacuated Wednesday when a similar device was sent there addressed to Brennan, an NBC News commentator. A similar package was found at the home of liberal hedge fund billionaire George Soros on Monday.

Miller said bomb squad officials transported each of the packages recovered in the New York City area to the FBI's lab at Quantico.

"We are discovered things by the hour," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said during Thursday's news conference of the analysis at Quantico.

He said authorities don't know if there are other packages still in the postal system or yet to be discovered. FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said some of the packages were delivered through the U.S. Postal Service, but wouldn't confirm how many or if the others were delivered by courier.

"These devices should be considered dangerous," he said. "Do not touch, do not move any suspicious or unknown package."

A USPS official at the news conference said no new suspicious packages have been found in the past 8 hours.

"This investigation is of the highest priority for the FBI," bureau chief Christopher Wray said in a statement earlier Thursday. "We have committed the full strength of the FBI's resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages.

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"We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call; no piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation."

The FBI said the packages were delivered in manila envelopes with bubble wrap interior and were affixed with computer-printed address labels and six USPS "Forever" stamps.

Law enforcement officials told The Washington Post the devices had pipes stuffed with explosive material and were wrapped in electrical wire and tape, but they did not describe how they would have been detonated.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio called the suspicious devices an act of terrorism.

"It's absolutely terrorism because it's an effort to use violence to make a political impact," he said.

On the campaign stump in Mosinee, Wis., Wednesday night, President Donald Trump again condemned the attacks.

"No nation can succeed that tolerates violence," Trump told the audience. "The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop. Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective."

Trump, though, appeared to blame news media for some of the political divide.

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"The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories," he said. "They've got to stop."

He revisited his attacks Thursday morning on Twitter.

"A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!" he wrote.

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