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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.

Confirmed Cases: 36680

Reported Deaths: 1250
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
Jackson79819
Washington73713
Copiah67016
Leake63420
Lee62822
Oktibbeha61928
Grenada6049
Warren60021
Holmes59541
Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
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Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
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Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
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Marshall2923
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Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
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Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
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