2018 Explosive Device Packages
PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!
You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.
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.
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, the device was found by a caretaker and detonated by officials.
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,  "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).
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, "#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).
That day, Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for Senator Harris tweeted, "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.
Later that day, the FBI tweeted that suspicious packages were also sent to Robert DeNiro and former Vice President Joe Biden. They tweeted, "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.
On October 26th, ABC 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!"
The news of the various explosives was discussed on various subreddits, including /r/news and /r/politics. 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).
Some online propagated the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the attempted attacks were "false flags"":https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/false-flag-conspiracies/ perpetrated by Democrats to harm the Republicans in the midterm election. The Daily Beast 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 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).
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."
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).
That day, President Trump delivered a press conference on the bombings (shown below).
Pres. Trump: "A major federal investigation is now underway. The full weight of our government is being deployed to…bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. We will spare no resources or expense in this effort." https://t.co/aYR4XRt6bW pic.twitter.com/RzIc2qFskZ
— ABC News (@ABC) October 24, 2018
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, "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 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).
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters said of the bomb attempts, "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."
Virtually all major news organizations covered the attacks, including NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox, The New York Times, The Washington Post and more.
On October 24th, 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 (shown below, left).
That day, NBC News 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).
On October 26th, 2018, the FBI tweeted, "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).
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. 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.
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).
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. 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."
 The New York Times – At George Soros’s Home, Pipe Bomb Was Likely Hand-Delivered, Officials Say
 The New York Times – Pipe Bombs Sent to Clintons, Obama and CNN Offices
 Twitter – @jimsciutto's Tweet
 Twitter – @CBSMiami's Tweet
 Twitter – @JohnGibbinsSDUT's Tweet
 Twitter – @adamslily's Tweet
 Reddit – Explosive Devices Found in Mail Sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama
 Reddit – Explosive device found at residence of George Soros, liberal philanthropist and target of far right : politics
 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
 Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet
 Twitter – @lachlan's Tweet
 Twitter – @keithboykin's Tweet
 The Daily Beast – Pro-Trump Media Insists Bomb Threats Against Clinton, Obama, CNN are ‘Pure BS,’ a ‘False Flag’
 CNBC – Trump condemns attempted attacks on Democrats: 'Political violence has no place in the US'
 ABC News – Explosive devices sent to Hillary Clinton, Obama, other prominent Democrats, and CNN
 CNN – Time Warner Center, Clintons and Obamas receive suspicious packages: Live updates
 Fox News – Explosive devices mailed to Obama, Hillary Clinton, others prompt security scare | Fox News
 NBC New York – Pipe Bomb Sent to CNN Included 'Get 'er Done' ISIS Meme
 Twitter – @FBI's Tweet
 Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet
 Twitter – @JohnBrennan's Tweet
 Blavity – EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Maxine Waters Responds To Being Targeted By Bomb Threats: I Ain’t Scared
 ABC News – Mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc taken into custody in nationwide investigation, officials say: LIVE UPDATES
 Variety – Robert De Niro on Mail Bomb Scare: Votes Are ‘More Powerful Than Bombs’
 HuffPost – Donald Trump Jr. Has Been Liking Twitter Conspiracy Theories About The Pipe Bombs
 Twitter – @FBI's Tweet
 ABC News – Cesar Sayoc: What we know about the package bomb suspect now in custody – ABC News
 Miami Herald – South Florida man arrested over suspected explosive
 MICHAEL MOORE The Day We Were Face to Face with Cesar Sayoc While Making Our Movie | MICHAEL MOORE
There are no videos currently available.
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment