Former FBI agent offers perspective on suspicious packages investigation

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Detectives are beginning to paint a picture of who may be behind at least six suspicious packages sent to Democratic leaders and political influencers over the last couple of days.

By Wednesday afternoon, investigators had confirmed a potential explosive device had been sent to former Secretary of State and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, liberal philanthropist George Soros, and CNN headquarters via a package addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan.

A package sent to Representative Maxine Waters remained under investigation.

The potential explosive devices were described by law enforcement as rudimentary but potentially lethal pipe bombs.

"As simple and as small as that device looks, that device is extremely lethal," said former FBI Agent Manny Gomez, who now runs a New York-based security firm.

Gomez said based on the New York Police Department's response during the discovery of a suspicious package at CNN headquarters, it appeared law enforcement had received some intelligence about a potential plot.

"Judging by the way the NYPD acted, the FBI gave them a heads up as to the particular type of bomb. The NYPD bomb squad was actively training against this device," Gomez said. "So, obviously there was some kind of intelligence out there that this had happened, could potentially happen and what kind of device to look for in order to counter it."

The discoveries began Tuesday at the home of Soros in a suburb outside of New York City.

Unlike other packages, investigators indicated this device was likely not delivered by mail.

"I'm sure that home has video and they are going to backtrack that video," Gomez said. "From that, they could perhaps determine who the person is."
EMBED More News Videos

Former NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce has more on the investigation process into the explosive devices found Wednesday.

Officers carefully whisked away the suspicious device delivered to CNN at the Time Warner Center to a facility where it could be analyzed.

Other devices were handled with similar care.

"If they are lucky they could get fingerprints, they could get DNA, maybe a hair fell into the box," Gomez said.

Gomez said all of the evidence thus far is beginning to paint a profile of who may be behind the packages.

"It tells me this was premeditated. Clearly, this is a politically motivated event," Gomez said. "To me, it's more of an individual given the fact that it is a simple device. This person had multiple and probably still has more in his cache. Although rudimentary, this person has the will, the resources and the intent to actually commit one of these terror attacks and hurt many people in the process."


Jim Hoffer, Danielle Leigh and the 7 On Your Side Investigates team at Eyewitness News want to hear from you! Call our confidential tip line 1-877-TIP-NEWS (847-6397) or fill out the form BELOW.

You can also contact Jim and Danielle directly:

Jim Hoffer:
Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to

Twitter: @NYCinvestigates

Danielle Leigh
Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to

Facebook: DanielleLeighJournalist
Twttier: @DanielleNLeigh

If using the app, click here to send us a news tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.