'Pipe Bomb-like' Explosive Device Found in Mailbox of George Soros' New York Home

Investigators said the device had 'components' for an actual bomb ■ Hungarian government spokesman responds: 'The matter falls under the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities'

George Soros.
AFP

A device found outside a suburban New York residential compound owned by liberal philanthropist George Soros "had the components" of an actual bomb, including explosive powder, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

"The components were there for an explosive device," said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the continuing investigation. "It was not a hoax device."

The official said the investigators were reviewing surveillance video Tuesday to determine whether the package had been sent through the mail or otherwise delivered.

>> Rudy Giuliani backs calling George Soros the 'anti-Christ.' Is that anti-Semitic? | Opinion

Another federal official who also spoke on condition of anonymity said the device resembled a pipe bomb and was inside a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound. It was opened in a secure location just inside the gates, nowhere near Soros' quarters, the official said.

Among the unanswered questions was whether the package was addressed to Soros, the billionaire who is a frequent target of right-wing conspiracy theories.

On Monday an explosive device found in a mail box outside the New York residence of billionaire financier George Soros, police said, and according to the New York Times it was detonated by bomb squad technicians in a nearby wooded area. 

Soros is a target of a hostile media campaign by the nationalist government in his native Hungary and a hate figure for right-wing campaigners in eastern Europe and the United States. 

Authorities responded to the home in Katonah, New York after receiving a call about a suspicious package at about 3:45 P.M., the Town of Bedford Police Department said in a statement. 

An employee at the residence opened the package, revealing what appeared to be an explosive device. The employee put the package in a wooded area and called authorities, police said. 

Bomb squad technicians arrived and detonated it, a police official told the New York Times. 

Online records showed that Soros resides at the address. He was not home at the time, the New York Times reported. 

The FBI's New York field office said on Twitter that it was "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."

A Hungarian government spokesman responded to the incident, saying: "The matter falls under the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities. After all, the incident occurred there." He declined to comment further. 

Soros has been the target of right-wing groups, including supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has intensified in the final weeks before the 2018 midterm elections.

Several weeks ago, Trump said on Twitter that Soros was involved in making signs featured in protests against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” Trump wrote. “Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers”

A few weeks ago, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani retweeted a post calling Soros “the anti-Christ.”  

There has also been frequent use of anti-Soros messages by anti-Semitic far right parties across Eastern and Western Europe, most prominently by Victor Orban in Soros’s native Hungary.

In Israel, Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted a meme, captioned "the food chain," featuring a photo of Soros dangling the world in front of a reptilian creature, who dangles an alchemy symbol in front of a caricature of a figure reminiscent of the anti-Semitic “happy merchant” image.

The image, which former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke supported, suggests a conspiracy is behind his family’s growing legal problems.