BREAKING. Some of the Bombs Delivered Yesterday Were Fake

Shortly after the first images of the alleged explosive device delivered to CNN became available there was widespread Twitter skepticism from people with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experience. This is by way of our colleagues at Twitchy:


Naturally, there were naysayers, but from the fact that CNN allowed their employees close enough to the device to take images, it leads one to believe that it was known pretty early that this device was a hoax (no I don’t believe this was a police leak).


This morning the New York Times described the devices this way:

None of the devices harmed anyone, and it was not immediately clear whether any of them could have. 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.

Some bomb technicians who studied photos of the device that circulated on social media suggested that the bomb sent to CNN had hallmarks of fake explosives β€” the kind more typically depicted on television and in movies, rather than devices capable of detonating.

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.

National Review had this:


The pipe bomb and white powder that forced an evacuation at CNN headquarters in New York City Wednesday morning were harmless, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press.

The purported explosive device was similar in construction to those sent Wednesday to former President Barack Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D., Fla.), and Representative Maxine Waters of California. A package containing white powder was delivered later in the day.

The NYPD said the explosive devices were live during a Wednesday afternoon press conference but subsequent reporting suggests they were not functional.

Now NBC is reporting that several of the devices were hoax devices:

Some of the 10 suspected mail bombs addressed to high-profile Democrats and others over the last few days were flawed and not capable of exploding, while others have yet to be fully analyzed, several investigators said Thursday.

In some cases, the flaws were substantial. In others, more subtle, they said.

According to sources, the explosive devices were made from PVC pipe and contained a timer (likely a digital alarm clock) to set off the detonator. The powder contained in the bombs comes from pyrotechnics. X-rays show there was likely shrapnel inside the PVC pipe, law enforcement officials say.


As it seems likely that all the bombs were constructed by the same person or person(s), it seems likely that none of the devices were functional and the purpose was to intimidate and scare the bejeezus out of the target rather than kill or maim. While this doesn’t have an impact on the charges that will be filed if they catch the perpetrator(s) it does speak rather directly to the possible motives.

A further briefing is getting underway in NYC.

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