Politics

Canada's threat level hasn't changed in response to U.S. attempted bombings, says Goodale

Canada will not raise its threat level in response to a series of attempted bombings targeting Democratic politicians in the United States and news outlet CNN, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.

'At this stage there's no known connection to Canada in any way,' says Public Safety minister

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says that while the series of pipe bombs targeting Democratic politicians in the U.S. has no link to this country, Canada is standing ready to help American authorities responding to the attacks. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Canada will not raise its threat level in response to a series of attempted bombings targeting Democratic politicians in the United States and news outlet CNN, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.

"At this stage there's no known connection to Canada in any way and there's no reason to adjust or change the Canadian threat level," Goodale told reporters.

"This is clearly a situation in the United States we are following it closely, and if there is any way that we are called upon to assist our American neighbours, certainly we'll be doing that with full cooperation."

Goodale said the situation south of the border is still developing and Canadian police and security services are "taking the appropriate steps" to ensure Canadians are safe.

"We will obviously pursue the further analysis as it develops to see what was the genesis of this, what was the motivation and are there other security lessons that need to be learned," Goodale added Wednesday.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale comments on the Canadian response to the discovery of mail-bombs in the US. 0:43

The RCMP said it is reviewing security measures in place for the politicians it protects but would not say if those measures changed in response to the attempted bombings.

"The RCMP constantly reviews and monitors the security measures put in place for its protectees. However, to ensure the safety of those we protect, specific details on security measures cannot be provided," an RCMP spokesperson told CBC.

Crude pipe bombs targeting Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others were intercepted Tuesday night and Wednesday. The rash of attacks come two weeks before nationwide elections that could reshape Congress and serve as a referendum on the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency.

The devices, which officials said shared a similar design, were aimed at prominent Democrats and a cable news network often criticized by political conservatives. A similar device was found Monday at the New York compound of liberal billionaire George Soros, a major contributor to Democratic causes.

The bombs overtook other campaign news in an already-tense political season, which has included pitched fights over immigration, the Supreme Court and sexual violence against women.

The White House quickly condemned the attacks.

"Acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States," Trump said. "This egregious conduct is abhorrent."

Clintons not home when bomb arrived

All the confirmed bombs appeared to come from the same person or people, said John Miller, the New York Police Department's head of intelligence and counterterrorism, who briefed reporters in New York.

The U.S. Secret Service intercepted a bomb that was addressed to Hillary Clinton at the Chappaqua, New York, home she shares with former President Bill Clinton, and another that was sent to former President Obama at his home with Michelle Obama in Washington. A police bomb squad removed still another from CNN's New York headquarters, which was evacuated.

The device was mailed in an envelope to CNN's offices on Columbus Circle using six stamps. It was compact, roughly the length of a wooden spoon, and contained wires and a black pipe, officials said.

Hillary Clinton was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and was not at the family's New York residence at the time. Bill Clinton was at the family's Chappaqua home at the time the package was intercepted Tuesday night at a Westchester County facility, said a person familiar with his schedule. The person said the device was screened at the facility — not in proximity to their residence — and never reached the Clintons' home.

A law enforcement official told the AP that the package discovered at Soros' home appeared to be a pipe bomb and was in a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound. A Soros employee opened it just inside the gates, not near Soros' quarters, the official said.

With files from The Associated Press and the CBC's Catharine Tunney

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