Smoke Signals

Pipe Bombs Mailed To Democrats

Christine Nguyen, Staff Writer

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  In late October, fourteen parcels containing pipe bombs were mailed to multiple critics of Donald Trump, including Democratic politicians, investor George Soros, and former C.I.A. director John O. Brennan. Despite this, no one was harmed in the attempted attacks.

  With midterm elections right around the corner, more attention has been drawn to these attacks and the outcome of the election.

  Sunny Zhou (11), Speech and Debate Congress Captain who competed at state for Congress, said, “I [do not] think the pipe bombs are going to spur people who typically [do not] vote into voting—if they [were not] convinced before they hardly will after—or encourage a change in any determined voter’s mind this late in the game. For people who see the midterm vote as a way to address specific issues in their town instead of sending a message, the mailing of the pipe bombs will seem hardly relevant at all. I really hope, though, that on November 6th, [I am] proven dead wrong.”

  The first bomb was found on Monday, October 22nd at the Westchester County residence of George Soros, a billionaire advocate of liberal causes. The Chairman of Open Society Foundations is known for promoting democracy and human rights through Soros’ generous donations.

  After an investigation, federal authorities believe that the bomb was hand-delivered. According to The New York Times, “The device was constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder, and it was ‘proactively detonated’ by bomb squad technicians.” At this time during the investigation, the motives of the bomber were indefinite since there had been no assertion of culpability.

  Two days later, other bombs were discovered. They were initially sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John O. Brennan, before they were intercepted by the Secret Service. By the end of the day, Eric Holder, the 82nd Attorney General, and Representative Maxine Waters also received packages. Each of the manila envelopes that were lined in bubble wrap had first-class postage stamps. According to court papers, the explosive devices contained shards of glass that were assumed to maximize harm to the victims. The parcels also were fixed with return addresses under the misspelled name of Ms. Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

  On Friday, October 26th, Cesar Sayoc, a former male stripper and avid Trump defender, was arrested in South Florida. He was living in his van, which was plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers.

  Dhriti Veeramachaneni (10), also a member of Speech and Debate, said, “I… think [this event]… affects society as a whole and how we view our democracy. [We are] a country big on free speech and the fact that people are being threatened for their political opinions is devastating.”

  Following a days-long national search, the 56-year-old was tracked down by using a mobile phone. Sayoc started planning his attacks in late July, based on searches done on his electronic devices.

  On Monday, October 29th in Miami, Judge Edwin G. Torres decided that Sayoc should be detained until his trial on Friday, November 2nd. Cesar Sayoc is facing five federal charges in Manhattan while undertaking a maximum sentence of 48 years behind bars.

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Christine Nguyen, Staff Writer

Christine Nguyen is a sophomore staff writer for Smoke Signals. She enjoys listening to music, reading, and dancing. She plays tennis as well as the piano...

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Pipe Bombs Mailed To Democrats