Federal authorities believe an explosive device was found Monday in a mailbox at George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has been a focus of right-wing vitriol and conspiracy theorists, was left there by someone and was not served by the Postal Service, said several police officers on Tuesday. Soros' house is located in a suburb of New York City. The device was constructed from a piece of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder and "proactively detonated" by bomb squad technicians, according to one of the officials who were all aware of the investigation
The bomber or the bomber remained unclear, one of the officers said, adding that no claim had yet been made
. Soros was not home when the device was discovered by a janitor, another official said. It was manipulated with a detonator and it could maim or possibly kill someone if it exploded near them.
A senior police officer described the pipe bomb as "smaller than what we normally see"
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI's New York offices and the Federal Office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to several officials the ongoing investigations remained anonymous.
Officers from the Bedford, NY city police department initially responded to the Soros house in the hamlet of Katonah at around 3:45 pm, Monday, in response to a janitor's call for a suspicious package, police said. The bomb squad of the Westchester County Police Department was called, as were federal and state detectives.
"The janitor went out to pick up the mail and did not make it to the residence," a senior police officer said. The device was packed in an envelope of about 8 by 10 inches and "looked suspicious." The caretaker "dropped it on the way back to the apartment in the forest."
Another official said the investigators had photographed the package before detonating the device. The pictures were checked by United States post office officials, the official concluded, saying that the markings on the envelope were likely to look as if the parcel had been mailed, though they did not believe it.
The inspectors, the official said, also interviewed the postman on this route, who did not remember delivering such a parcel.
Two FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force squads handling domestic terrorism cases were involved in the investigation, one of the officers said, identifying them as one unit in the office of the Rye, NY office, and another in Manhattan
Agents were investigating images from surveillance cameras in the area around the Soros house to see if they were holding pictures of the person who left the machine in the mailbox or approached or left one of the officers
. Soros, who was born in Hungary, made his fortune with a hedge fund. He often donates to Democratic candidates and progressive causes, and has given [atleast$18billiontohisOpenSocietyFoundations to promote democracy and human rights worldwide.
While George became an important political donor in the United States W. Bush's presidency. He spent millions supporting John Kerry's unsuccessful attempt to deny Bush a second term, was an early supporter of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, and paid more than $ 25 million to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates and events during the 2016 election cycle.  His activism has made him a rogue for conservative groups and a target for anti-Semitic smears. Roseanne Barr called him a Nazi in an infamous tweet storm.
Although Mr. Soros' name has triggered a subset of Republicans and Conservatives, he has said that his main goal as a political activist was to see a return to bipartisanship.
He said it was Republican Party extremism that had led him to become a major Democrat donor, but also said he was opposed to the extreme left.
"I do not want to be a democrat," he said.
Bedford is located about 50 miles north of Manhattan and was home to many wealthy city displaced persons, including Martha Stewart, Glenn Close and Ralph Lauren. Katonah, where Mr. Soros has a home, is known for its cultural offerings, including the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and the Katonah Museum of Art.
The city is known for its insularity and lack of gossip for well-known residents to fly the radar. "They look to Bedford as if they were protecting their privacy," John Bedbridge, Bedford's historian, said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Stockbridge said the city has largely avoided drama or violent horrors. "I've been here for 35 years, and I do not remember any incident like what you're talking about," he said.