2018 Explosive Device Packages

2018 Explosive Device Packages

Updated Oct 30, 2018 at 12:06PM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 24, 2018 at 02:00PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

The 2018 Explosive Device Packages refers to a series of attempted attacks on the American news outlets and prominent Democrats, all of whom are perceived enemies of President Donald Trump and the Republican party.

Background

George Soros

On October 22nd, 2018, an explosive device was found at the home of George Soros, billionaire philanthropist and the subject of numerous right-wing conspiracy theories, which tend to focus on globalism and antisemitism, located in a New York City suburb. Federal authorities believe that the explosive, a six-inch pipe bomb, was delivered by hand and not through the U.S. Postal Service. According to the New York Times,[1] the device was found by a caretaker and detonated by officials.

Developments

October 24th

Two days later, on October 24th, explosives packages addressed to CNN and former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were intercepted by authorities. No one was injured. Authorities are currently investigating the packages to determine whether they were were sent by the same person.

That day, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto tweeted, [2][3] "Breaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We’re told of explosive device received. @CNNnewsroom." The tweet received more than 4,100 retweets and 4,400 likes in less than 24 hours (shown below).


Jim Sciutto @jimsciutto Breaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We're told of explosive device received. @CNNnewsroom

The Times reports:

"The device sent to CNN was in a manila envelope addressed to John Brennan, who was the C.I.A. director in the Obama administration and is a harsh critic of Mr. Trump. The president revoked Mr. Brennan’s security clearance in what was seen as an act of retribution."

"The return address bore the name of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman and a former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, according to a person who saw a photograph of the envelope. The device sent to Mr. Soros was in a similar envelope also with a printed return address label with her name."

Later that morning, the Sunrise, Florida Police Department tweeted that another package had been discovered at the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Shortly after, the CBS affiliate in Miami tweeted,[4] "#BREAKING: Sunrise Police Department confirms an office building has been evacuated due to a suspicious package in the mail. It’s the same building where the office of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is located. @CBS4Ted is live at noon." The tweet received more than 1,500 retweets and 870 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).

Additionally, the offices of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris the San Diego Union-Tribune, as well as various co-working spaces, all of which share a building, were evacuated due to suspicious packages (shown below, center).[5]

That day, Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for Senator Harris tweeted,[6] "Our office was evacuated today after suspicious packages were found near the building. The packages were not addressed to the Senator or our office. We are grateful to the San Diego Police Department for their work to swiftly investigate this issue." The tweet received more than 360 retweets and 760 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).

Throughout the day, reports of suspicious packages intercepted at the residences or offices of various other prominent Democrats, including U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, former CIA director John Brennan, former Attorney General Eric Holder and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.[12]


04 CBS4 Miami NEWS @CBSMiami #BREAKING: Sunrise Police Department confirms an office building has been evacuated due to suspicious package in the mail. It's the same building where the office of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is located. @CBS4Ted is live at noon. Suspicious pkgs at entrance two building that houses San Diego Union Tribune, senator Kamala Harris, and SDFD. Bomb squad is at scene MOITUA3 TUAD Lily Adams @adamslily Our office was evacuated today after suspicious packages were found near the building. The packages were not addressed to the Senator or our office. We are grateful to the San Diego Police Department for their work to swiftly investigate this issue.

Later that day, the FBI tweeted that suspicious packages were also sent to Robert DeNiro and former Vice President Joe Biden. They tweeted,[20] "The #FBI has confirmed three additional packages, similar in appearance to the others – one in New York addressed to Robert DeNiro, and two in Delaware addressed to former Vice President Joseph Biden." The tweet received more than 900 retweets and 1,000 likes.


FBI 910 @FBI The #FBI has confirmed three additional packages, similar in appearance to the others one in New York addressed to Robert DeNiro, and two in Delaware addressed to former Vice President Joseph Biden.

On October 26th, ABC[24] reported that U.S. Senator Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also received packages.

That day, actor Robert De Niro commented on the bomb attempt, urging people to vote. He said:

"I thank God no one’s been hurt, and I thank the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for protecting us. There’s something more powerful than bombs, and that’s your vote. People MUST vote!"

Online Reaction

The news of the various explosives was discussed on various subreddits, including /r/news[7] and /r/politics.[8][9] On /r/politics, two threads received more than 15,000 points, respectively. The three on /r/news received more than 46,000 points (87% upvoted) and 10,000 comments in less than six hours.

The incidents were also discussed on social media. Reporter Joyce Karam tweeted, "Suspected Bomb packages in US sent to thus far: 1-Hillary and Bill Clinton 2-Barack Obama 3-George Soros 4-CNN building in NY (addressed to CIA’s fmr Dir. Brennan) 5-Office of Debbie Schultz in FL 6-Building housing Kamala Harris office in San Diego Sick." The tweet received more than 2,800 retweets and 3,200 likes in 24 hours.

Lachlan Marky, a reporter for the Daily Beast, tweeted a photograph of the bomb sent to CNN. He captioned the tweet, "This looks like an ISIS flag on the pipebomb sent to CNN/Brennan." The tweet received more than 240 retweets and 300 likes in 24 hours.

Some online began tagging information about the bombings under the hashtag "#MAGABomber," an informal nickname for the suspected assailant (example below, right).


Joyce Karam @Joyce Karam Suspected Bomb packages in US sent to thus far: 1-Hillary and Bill Clinton 2-Barack Obama 3-George Soros 4-CNN building in NY (addressed to CIA's fmr Dir. Brennan) 5-Office of Debbie Schultz in FL 6-Building housing Kamala Harris office in San Diego Sick Lachlan Markay @lachlan This looks like an ISIS flag on the pipebomb sent to CNN/Brennan AN SHULTZ ATE PARKWAY Targeted so far by the #MAGAbomber: -The Clintons -The Obamas -Eric Holder Debbie Wasserman Shultz Kamala Harris Maxine Waters -John Brennan -Andrew Cuomo Every single person on this list has been targeted with verbal attacks from Trump. Trump bears sole responsibility.

Some online propagated the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the attempted attacks were "false flags"":https://gotfunnypictures.com/memes/false-flag-conspiracies/ perpetrated by Democrats to harm the Republicans in the midterm election. The Daily Beast[13] reported:

"Cries that the bomb threats was merely a 'false flag' operation were evident on Twitter and pro-Trump forums. Many of the personalities pushing the claim were fringe types. But not all of them."

"Popular talk radio host Rush Limbaugh hinted that the attempted bombings were set-up by Democrats, saying they would serve a political 'purpose.'"

"'It’s happening in October,' Limbaugh said. 'There’s a reason for this.'"

Donald Trump Jr's "Likes"

On October 25th, HuffPost[26] reported that President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. had "clicked 'Like' on at least two tweets promoting conspiracy theories." These conspiracy propagate the unsubstanatied theory that the attempts were perpetrated by Democrats to gain "sympathy" for the midterm elections (shown below).


Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr TweetsFollowing Followers Likes 24.5K 1,280 3.09M 9,888 Follow USA NEWS @USANEWS007 6h BREAKING: WHITE POWDER IN BOMBS NOT BIOLOGICAL OR DANGEROUS. LIKELY BABY POWDER. ......-AKE BOMBS MADE TO SCARE AND PICK UP BLUE SYMPATHY VOTE #FakeBombHoax #VoteRed NT WILLIAM SWEENEY FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR 0:20 37.4K views Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr TweetsFollowing Followers Likes 24.5K ,280 3.09M 9,888 Follow John Cardillo @johncardillo Oct 24 When you watch: -Scalise shot - GOP pols harassed - Holder say "kick 'em Obama say "throw them out Hillary say only civility if Dems win Waters say harrass Trump supporters Antifa beating people It's only logical to question who actually sent the bombs.

That eventing, a spokesperson for Trump Jr. said:

"It’s common knowledge that on Twitter, ‘liking’ a tweet doesn’t automatically equal an endorsement of a tweet. And unlike the establishment media which jumped to blame the President for these mailings without any actual evidence, Don is withholding judgement and not speculating on the matter until we hear more concrete evidence from those investigating it."

Government Response

On October 24th, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, "We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice." The tweet received more than 7,100 retweets and 24,000 likes. President Trump quote retweeted the post, adding "I agree wholeheartedly." The post received more than 8,800 retweets and 34,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below).[10]


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump l agree wholeheartedly! Vice President Mike Pence @VP We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBl & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.

That day, President Trump delivered a press conference on the bombings (shown below).


Later that evening, at a rally in Wisconsin, President Trump discussed the packages (video below). He said, "Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself […] The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories."



The following day, Trump tweeted,[21] "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!" The tweet received more than 29,000 retweets, 100,000 likes and 54,000 comments in 24 hours (shown below, left).

Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted[22] at the President, "Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence." The tweet received more than 23,000 retweets and 65,000 likes in 25 hours (shown below, right).


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST! John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act....try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence. Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters said of the bomb attempts,[23] "I think the president of United States should take responsibility for the kind of violence that we are seeing for the first time in different ways. I think the president of the United States has been dog-whistling to his constituency, making them believe that their problems are caused by those people over there. And I think they are acting in a way that they think the president wants them to do and the way he wants them to act."

Media Coverage

Virtually all major news organizations covered the attacks, including NBC[14], ABC,[15] CNN,[16] Fox,[17] The New York Times, The Washington Post[18] and more.

ISIS Flag

On October 24th, Lachlan Marky, a reporter for the Daily Beast, tweeted[11] a photograph of the bomb sent to CNN. He captioned the tweet, "This looks like an ISIS flag on the pipebomb sent to CNN/Brennan." The tweet received more than 240 retweets and 300 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).

That day, NBC News[19] reported that the ISIS flag on the device sent to former CIA Director John Brennan was a parody of an ISIS flag featuring standup comedian Larry the Cable Guy and bearing his catch phrase "Get 'Er Done" (shown below, right).


Lachlan Markay @lachlan This looks like an ISIS flag on the pipebomb sent to CNN/Brennan AN SHULTZ ATE PARKWAY

Suspect

Cesar Sayoc

On October 26th, 2018, the FBI tweeted,[27] "The #FBI can confirm we have one person in custody. There will be a press conference in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Justice at 2:30pm ET." The tweet received more than 3,700 retweets and 7,600 likes in 24 hours (shown below).


FBI Φ 1O @FB The #FBI can confirm we have one person in custody. There will be a press conference in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Justice at 2:30pm ET.

It was later reported Cesar Sayoc, a resident of Aventura, Florida, was taken into custody by authorities (suspect photograph below, left). According to ABC, he was tracked using a cellphone.[28] He was arrested outside an auto-parts store in Plantation, Florida at about 10:30 a.m. A "loud explosion" was heard at the time of arrest.[29]

In addition to the confiscation of electronic devices owned by Sayoc, authroities also towed the suspect's van, which bore a number of photographs of President Trump, stickers that endorsed the Republican Party and photographs of Democratic leaders, including the ones targeted, with crosshairs over the heads (shown below, center).

Sayoc's social media accounts showed a number shares regarding various right-wing conspiracy theories, particularly regarding George Soros, as well as threats against prominent Democrats (example below, right).


Cesar Altieri @hardrock2016 David Hoggs fake phony big gets con job never attended Parkland High School.He graduated 2015 from Redondo Bch High School.He is a paid George Soros actor fraud REVEALED: David Hogg Working Redondo Beach HS in 2015. See the page with George Soros Group to Oust from the Redondo Beach HS year book Republicans from Congress 2015. He's a paid protestor. Even his huge listing in Wikipedia is Fake and his father is an FBl Agent. APRIL 2,2018 AT 11:39 AM The Event Chronicle Editor Laguna Beach Antifa LagBeachAntifa9-14m David Hogg didnt attendParkland high school I went to school with him at Redondo Shores High School in California and he graduated in 2015 Here he is in our yearbook from 2015. He always wanted to work for CNN and be an actor By Silence is Consent Parkland school shooting activist David Hogg is now openly supporting a George Soros group whose aim is to crash the town halls of Republican

Michael Moore Video

On October 28th, 2018, documentary filmmaker uploaded a video of an outtake from his feature film Fahrenheit 11/9 that featured suspect Cesar Sayoc from February 2017.[30] He posted about the video on his website and said:

"Here in this outtake from “Fahrenheit 11/9” is 3 minutes and 38 seconds of raw, unedited footage -- and you can see what Sayoc had become by early 2017, his body grossly deformed into what he thought a man should be, muscles the size of basketballs, he’s wearing a sleeveless white T-shirt, holding a big anti-CNN sign and, along with his fellow Trumpsters, is yelling at the journalists who had gathered in the media pen. You’ll see him two or three times, each for a few seconds, but if you pause on him you will also see something profound. Underneath his threatening Hulk-like exterior, there is fear in his eyes and, for a quick moment, you can see he is already gone, a lost dog with no direction home."



Search Interest

External References

[1] The New York Times – At George Soros’s Home, Pipe Bomb Was Likely Hand-Delivered, Officials Say

[2] The New York Times – Pipe Bombs Sent to Clintons, Obama and CNN Offices

[3] Twitter – @jimsciutto's Tweet

[4] Twitter – @CBSMiami's Tweet

[5] Twitter – @JohnGibbinsSDUT's Tweet

[6] Twitter – @adamslily's Tweet

[7] Reddit – Explosive Devices Found in Mail Sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama

[8] Reddit – Explosive device found at residence of George Soros, liberal philanthropist and target of far right : politics

[9] Reddit – Megathread: Likely Explosive Devices Addressed to Former President Obama and Former Secretary Clinton Intercepted by Law Enforcement, Linked to Device Sent to Democratic Donor George Soros

[10] Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet

[11] Twitter – @lachlan's Tweet

[12] Twitter – @keithboykin's Tweet

[13] The Daily Beast – Pro-Trump Media Insists Bomb Threats Against Clinton, Obama, CNN are ‘Pure BS,’ a ‘False Flag’

[14] CNBC – Trump condemns attempted attacks on Democrats: 'Political violence has no place in the US'

[15] ABC News – Explosive devices sent to Hillary Clinton, Obama, other prominent Democrats, and CNN

[16] CNN – Time Warner Center, Clintons and Obamas receive suspicious packages: Live updates

[17] Fox News – Explosive devices mailed to Obama, Hillary Clinton, others prompt security scare | Fox News

[18] washingtonpost http://…

[19] NBC New York – Pipe Bomb Sent to CNN Included 'Get 'er Done' ISIS Meme

[20] Twitter – @FBI's Tweet

[21] Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet

[22] Twitter – @JohnBrennan's Tweet

[23] Blavity – EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Maxine Waters Responds To Being Targeted By Bomb Threats: I Ain’t Scared

[24] ABC News – Mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc taken into custody in nationwide investigation, officials say: LIVE UPDATES

[25] Variety – Robert De Niro on Mail Bomb Scare: Votes Are ‘More Powerful Than Bombs’

[26] HuffPost – Donald Trump Jr. Has Been Liking Twitter Conspiracy Theories About The Pipe Bombs

[27] Twitter – @FBI's Tweet

[28] ABC News – Cesar Sayoc: What we know about the package bomb suspect now in custody – ABC News

[29] Miami Herald – South Florida man arrested over suspected explosive
packages

[30] MICHAEL MOORE The Day We Were Face to Face with Cesar Sayoc While Making Our Movie | MICHAEL MOORE

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