The big question in the bomb case

Six explosive devices were sent to leaders of the Democratic Party, including two former Presidents, and to ...

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 12:26 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 12:26 PM

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?

Bombs and explosive devices

Donald Trump

International relations and national security

Misc people

National security

Political Figures - US

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Terrorist attacks

Theodore Kaczynski

Unrest, conflicts and war

Weapons and arms

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: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 64°
Oxford
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: °
Starkville
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Rain coming in this weekend as a cold front moves through the area bringing cooler temperatures on into the start of next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather