BEDFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The FBI and ATF are investigating an explosive device discovered at a residence owned by billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
A law enforcement official told the Associated Press the device “had the components” of an actual bomb, including explosive powder.
The official spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the continuing investigation.
He says “the components were there for an explosive device” and it was “not a hoax device.”
The device was found at around 3:45 p.m. Monday.
Police said an employee at the residence in the Katonah section of Bedford opened a package found in a mailbox. When it appeared to be an explosive device, the employee put the package in a wooded area and called 911.
“The officers did exactly what they were trained to do: Responded to the scene, set up a perimeter, contacted appropriate resources to further the investigation,” said Bedford Police Chief Melvin Padilla.
An official tells the Associate Press investigators are reviewing surveillance video to determine whether the package had been sent through the mail or otherwise delivered. Sources told CBS2 officials believe the package was dropped off and not mailed. Sources also said the device was similar in nature to a pipe bomb.
Authorities detonated it as a precaution.
“Luckily no-one was injured and there’s no continuing threat that we’re aware of,” Padilla said.
Among the unanswered questions is whether the package was addressed to Soros.
The FBI’s New York field office said on Twitter that it was “conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY. There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time.”
Soros, 88, is a holocaust survivor and native of Hungary. He’s given many millions of dollars to Democrats and liberal causes, winning him many critics on the right, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
He has also been the target of anti-Semitic smears. Some have falsely accused him of being a Nazi collaborator during World War II, when he was a child in Hungary.
Activists frequently post on social media the addresses of his homes, sometimes along with threats.
This month, a Florida Republican speculated on Twitter Soros was funding the caravan of migrants moving through Mexico towards the U.S. His foundation denies any involvement.
The FBI is looking at numerous possible motives for the attempted pipe bombing, Aiello reported.
“The politics of hate that dominates our discourse today in the U.S. and in so many countries around the world breed extremism and violence. In this climate of fear, falsehoods, and rising authoritarianism, just voicing your views can draw death threats,” said Soros spokesperson Laura Silber. “George Soros deplores violence of any kind, and urges politicians across the political spectrum to tone down their rhetoric. Words have consequences, and we bear a collective responsibility to create a more civil way to discuss our political differences. Respect for a diversity of opinions is fundamental to open society and that is the work that George Soros has devoted his life to. Our politics should be more about what we’re for than who we hate.”
In New York City, the NYPD’s Critical Response Command is taking precautions.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we’re in contact with people from the Soros organization and we are deploying CRC to locations that are located within New York City,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.
Investigators have evidence from the device itself, and are pursuing many other leads including data from license plate readers as they try to bring the would-be bomber to justice.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)