Suspicious package headed to CNN HQ intercepted
For the third time in a week, a suspicious package has been addressed to CNN. This time, on Monday morning, the package was intercepted in Atlanta, the home to CNN’s worldwide headquarters.
The FBI said the package was “similar in appearance” to the 14 pipe bombs that prompted a federal investigation last week.
The new package bore the same markings and stamps as the others. It was addressed to “CNN” with the address of the network’s headquarters, known as CNN Center.
Soon after the package was intercepted, a law enforcement official told CNN that authorities believe the package is from Cesar Sayoc, the suspect in last week’s bombs.
This would bring the total number of known packages sent by Sayoc to 15. Sayoc was arrested on Friday and was formally charged on Monday.
The new package will be transported to the FBI laboratory in Quantico for analysis.
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker notified staffers about the new package in a Monday morning memo.
The package “was intercepted at an Atlanta post office,” Zucker said. “There is no imminent danger to the CNN Center.”
The Atlanta Police Department said officers responded to the call about the package at 9:38 a.m. The post office was evacuated and surrounding streets in downtown Atlanta were shut down.
The first package addressed to CNN arrived Wednesday morning in the mailroom at Time Warner Center, home to CNN’s New York offices. It spurred a five and a half hour long evacuation of the building.
That package was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who actually works for NBC.
The second package was addressed to both CNN contributor James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, and CNN. It was found Friday morning at a post office six blocks away. It was addressed to Time Warner Center.
Among the other targets were former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US Attorney General Eric Holder, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Rep. Maxine Waters.
As a result of Wednesday’s package, all mail destined for CNN’s US offices is now being screened first at off-site facilities.
This means that Friday’s package “would NOT have come directly to the TWC, even if it hadn’t been intercepted first,” Zucker said in a Friday memo.
On Monday, following the interception of the suspicious package in Atlanta, Zucker said the same protocol would have applied in that incident.
“All mail, at all CNN domestic bureaus, is being screened at off-site facilities as of last Wednesday, so this package would NOT have come directly to the CNN Center, even if it hadn’t been intercepted first,” Zucker wrote. “Our screening process is working and we will keep you updated as we learn more.”