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Debunking the myths surrounding George Soros

CNN's John Avlon explains some of the theories surrounding 88-year-old George Soros after an explosive device was sent to his house in New York.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 10:35 AM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 10:35 AM

Six explosive devices were sent to leaders of the Democratic Party, including two former Presidents, and to CNN and George Soros, who are both the targets of criticism from President Donald Trump and others on the right. The motive is unknown.

But the even bigger question, of course, is: Who is the person or persons behind these attacks?

Determining that may take some time if the bombmaker or -makers is skilled in covering their tracks.

Recall that the "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski dispatched a series of bombs in the mail over the course of 17 years to academics and businessmen who he felt were opposed to his obscure neo-Luddite beliefs.

Kaczynski killed three people and injured 23 others before the FBI finally arrested him in 1996. That arrest was instigated by a tip from Kaczynski's brother.

Recall also the anthrax-laced letters that were sent to media organizations and congressional offices in the weeks after 9/11. Five people died from anthrax inhalation. It took the FBI seven years to finger leading American microbiologist Bruce Ivins for the attacks. Ivins committed suicide as authorities closed in.

Kaczynski and Ivins were both operating alone and were not part of a group.

These "lone actor" cases are often harder for law enforcement to solve than when there is a larger conspiracy involving multiple terrorists.

That said, today there are more tools available to law enforcement than in the earlier cases, which can help them find terrorists -- not least, almost ubiquitous surveillance cameras and more precise DNA technology.

Because of the 9/11 attacks, Americans often frame "terrorism" around jihadist terrorist operations. But the fact is there are other forms of political violence in the United States, which is why it was refreshing to hear top New York officials on Wednesday describe the six explosive devices that were sent to the leading Democrats, George Soros and CNN as terrorist acts.

Recent terrorism has emanated from the left and right. In June 2017, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson III attacked Republican members of Congress who were practicing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was gravely wounded.

Hodgkinson had posted on Facebook: "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co." Hodgkinson was shot by police officers and died after his attack.

Seven months earlier, on December 5, 2016, believing a debunked right-wing conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement of the Comet Ping Pong pizza joint in northwest Washington, DC, 28-year-old Edgar Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, went to Washington to "self-investigate."

Welch walked into the popular pizza restaurant carrying an assault rifle and started firing shots. He pointed the firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee, who fled and notified police who arrested Welch. Welch told investigators that he had come armed to help rescue the children.

Since 9/11, while 104 Americans in the United States have been killed by jihadist terrorists, 73 have been killed by far-right terrorists and eight have been killed by terrorists motivated by black nationalist ideology, according to New America, a research institution.

The bombs that were sent to the Democratic Party leaders, George Soros and CNN remind us that political violence in the United Sates can come from a wide range of ideologies and motivations.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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