BEDFORD, N.Y. (AP) – An object that authorities say “had the components” of an actual bomb, including explosive powder, was found in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has donated heavily to liberal causes and is a frequent target of unfounded right-wing conspiracy theories.
The Bedford Police Department said it responded to the address in the hamlet of Katonah at 3:45 p.m. Monday after an employee of the residence opened the package.
The person placed the package in a wooded area and called police, who alerted the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives.
Bedford police said the FBI’s terrorism task force was investigating.
The FBI’s New York field office said on Twitter that it was “conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY. There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time.”
One official, who spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the continuing investigation, says “the components were there for an explosive device” and it was “not a hoax device.”
The official says the investigators are reviewing surveillance video to determine whether the package had been sent through the mail or otherwise delivered.
Authorities detonated it as a precaution. Among the unanswered questions is whether the package was addressed to Soros.
A message emailed to Soros’ foundation wasn’t immediately returned.
Soros, who made his fortune in hedge funds, frequently donates to liberal causes and is vilified on the right.
Recently, conservative critics have, without evidence, accused him of secretly financing a caravan of Central American migrants to make their way north toward Mexico and the U.S.
Others have falsely accused him of being a Nazi collaborator during World War II, when he was a child in Hungary.
Activists frequently post the addresses of homes he owns in Westchester County, north of New York City, on social media sometimes accompanied by ill wishes.
FBI officials didn’t respond to requests for more information late Monday.
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