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Social media mocking fake bombs. Photo supplied

US Democrats likely received fake bombs

According to a law enforcement official, examiners are looking at whether the mail bombs sent to US Democrats over the last 48 hours were "hoax devices". What looked like bombs seen on television, may have been fakes.

Published: October 26, 2018, 8:59 am

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    The official spoke to the New York Times as another suspicious package surfaced outside the Tribeca Grill, a restaurant owned by actor and virulent Trump critic Robert De Niro.

    According to the source, the bombs could be fake. “One law enforcement official said investigators were examining the possibility that they were hoax devices that were constructed to look like bombs but would not have exploded,” the NYT noted.

    “A digital clock was taped to the middle of the pipe, a feature that experts say is typically shown on fictional bombs in an attempt to ratchet up dramatic tension, but unnecessary in real life.

    “In fact, bombmakers generally avoid attaching visible clocks to their devices to keep from tipping off their targets about when the bombs are set to explode.”

    Several bomb technicians explained that the devices were constructed to resemble bombs “depicted on television and in movies, rather than devices capable of detonating”.

    The same clock used in the device sent to CNN was also found on Amazon, revealing it to be a cheap LCD digital display that does not even contain an alarm, which would be necessary to trigger a bomb’s detonator.

    An official told the Associated Press on Wednesday night that tests have determined that a powder found inside an envelope delivered to CNN along with a pipe bomb was harmless.

    President Trump slammed the media as “hateful” on Thursday, after mainstream outlets blamed the President for the crude devices sent to fading Democratic figures.

    Trump denounced the “purposely false and inaccurate reporting” . At a Thursday night rally, he called on the media “to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories”.

    On social media platforms, users were not buying the latest bomb scare targeting Democrats less than two weeks out from the midterm elections.

    Conservative commenter Lou Dobbs, Fox Business Network host, suggested the suspicious packages intercepted Wednesday were not real.

    “Fake News ― Fake Bombs. Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?” Dobbs tweeted on Thursday morning.

    Many Trump supporters believe the suspiciously-timed bomb scare is actually a false flag attack designed to make the president look bad.

    Dobbs also accused the media of focusing on the bomb threats as a way to shift attention away from the migrant caravan heading for the US border, an issue that has boosted support for Trump.

    The Democratic Party supports the caravan despite reports that many criminals have joined the migrants. “Let’s get back to Left-Wing driven Caravans and the Dimms who encourage them!” Dobbs tweeted.

    In another message, Dobbs suggested that the bomb threat was the work of leftists, and said he would be discussing the issue on his next show. “[W]hether hoax or bombs, they were clearly designed to influence election. Why?”

    Former Vice President Joe Biden was the latest apparent target, together with former CIA Director John Brennan. Similar packages were addressed to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, philantropist billionaire George Soros and Democrat Maxine Waters.

    Another package was apparently sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder with the wrong address and then sent back to the return address, which was a Florida office for Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    In a video for Blavity, Waters said Trump was “encouraging people in his own way to be violent, or to be racist”.

    The son of Jewish billionaire Soros meanwhile directly blamed Trump for the “antisemitic and anti-democratic atmosphere” he says are linked to the bomb scares directed at his father and other Democrats.

    “While the responsibility lies with the individual or individuals who sent these lethal devices to my family home and Mr. Obama’s and Ms. Clinton’s offices, I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today,” Alexander Soros wrote in The New York Times.

    The younger Soros also accused Trump of indulging in “antisemitism” which has put his father “at the center of a world-wide conspiracy”.

    No suspect has been identified and presumably remains at large.

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