US President Barack Obama (R) greets President-elect Donald Trump as he arrives on the platform at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017, before his swearing-in ceremony. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The White House has condemned the attempted bomb attack on former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Suspected explosive devices addressed to Obama, Bill and Hilary Clinton were allegedly intercepted by the U.S. Secret Service, which has opened a criminal investigation into the incidents.

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“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.

“The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them,” the Secret Service said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

One device was addressed to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, who lives with former President Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, a suburb about 40 miles north of New York City. The other was addressed to former President Obama in Washington.

There were also reports of other potentially dangerous packages as well sent to cable network CNN.

Reacting in a statement on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders described the attempts to arm the public figures as despicable.

She said: “We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures.

“These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.”