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An explosive device was found near the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday, according to reports by The New York Times and Associated Press, both of which spoke to law-enforcement officials.
The AP reported Tuesday that a law enforcement official said the device “had the components” of an actual bomb, including explosive powder.
“The components were there for an explosive device. It was not a hoax device,” the official said, adding that investigators are reviewing surveillance video to determine if the package had been sent through the mail or otherwise delivered. It’s not yet clear whether the package was addressed to Soros.
The New York Times reported Monday night that law enforcement officers found a device in a mailbox not far from Soros’ Westchester County home. Authorities told the Times that the device did not detonate on its own, but the bomb squad took measures to deliberately explode it. The AP said the device was detonated as a precaution.
Local officials in the town of Bedford received a call about a suspicious package at 3:45 p.m. ET on Monday. Soros was not at home when the device was found.
Bedford police told the Times that they had referred the case to the FBI. The FBI’s New York Twitter account posted a statement Monday that indirectly referred to the incident. “We are conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, N.Y. There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time,” the statement said.
Soros, a financier and full-time philanthropist, has become a favored target of right-wing figures in the U.S. and Europe for his donations and support of progressive political groups. He has been name-checked by various right-wing politicians and personalities, including President Donald Trump, former White House adviser Steve Bannon and comedienne Roseanne Barr. Trump, in particular, has often claimed that protesters are being paid by Soros.
Recently, conservative critics have, without evidence, accused Soros of secretly financing the caravan of Central American migrants traveling north toward Mexico and the United States. The Jewish Soros has often been the target of anti-Semitic smears. Activists frequently post on social media the addresses of homes he owns in Westchester, sometimes accompanied by ill wishes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Oct. 23, 7:24 a.m. PT: This story has been updated with additional information about the bomb and Soros.
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