During the week of Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 – Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, 13 pipe bombs were sent to famous members of the Democratic party and critics of President Donald Trump, as well as liberal donors, select media outlets and members of the Obama administration. Locations included residential and commercial areas of New York City, Los Angeles and Florida.
The exact intent of sending out these bombs in envelopes is unclear; the devices – pipe bombs – might not have been made with the intent to explode, as indicated by the fact that they lacked the substance which would have triggered their explosive mechanisms.
However, the message echoed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is still clear: he describes these attempted attacks to be “an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country.”
So, when were each of these packages sent out? To whom were they sent?
On Monday, Oct. 22, a device was found at the residence of billionaire philanthropist and liberal donor George Soros, in New York.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, a device was found addressed to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former president and former secretary of state. The device was intercepted by the Secret Service before reaching their home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, a similar situation occurred where a bomb was intercepted by the Secret Service before reaching former President Barack Obama’s residence in Northwest Washington.
The same day, a device was also found addressed to John Brennan and found in the CNN mailroom. Brennan was a C.I.A. director who worked under the Obama administration and another prominent Trump critic. Two more packages were recovered that day, one addressed to Eric H. Holder, former attorney general during the Obama presidency. The address of this package was written in error, and because of this, it was sent to the written return address, which happened to be the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office in Florida.
The last recipient was actually sent two devices. Both were sent to Maxine Waters, democratic representative of California. One of these devices was found in L.A., and the other in Washington.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, a package containing one device was discovered at Tribeca Productions, Robert De Niro’s film company. Why might De Niro be targeted? Likely because of his expressed public disapproval of President Trump, which makes sense in the context of other recipients. Also on Thursday, two bombs were found, each at a separate mail facility and both in Delaware, addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden, who was also active during the time of the Obama administration.
On Friday, Oct. 26, the last three packages were found. One sent to Cory Booker, democratic Senator of New Jersey, found in Florida. Another was sent to James Clapper and found in New York, soon after the package sent to Booker was announced by the FBI. Clapper was Obama’s former director of National Intelligence, and the package was addressed to Clapper at CNN, where he contributes. The final package, containing one device, was sent to Kamala Harris, a Senator for California, and was found at a Sacramento mail facility. This package was discovered after the arrest of the suspect of these bombs was made.
Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 26-year-old registered Republican from Florida and former stripper, was arrested Friday morning by the F.B.I. He has a prior history of crimes including fraud, felony theft and a previous bomb threat. He had been living in a white van covered with Trump and anti-CNN stickers. He currently pleads not guilty, and the political pipe bomb case will go to trial next summer.
Queens College sophomore, Jonathan Zonen, says, “We shouldn’t continue to promote violent acts or hate towards each other in general. I’m glad that President Trump did speak out against the bombs, but I hope that changes the attitudes of people who are always making sure that another group of people look bad.”
Marisa Masi, QC senior, shares her opinion on the case, “When I heard about all these packages being sent it was scary and sort of ridiculous. Our political climate is in a very dangerous time where there are only two political parties working only for their team and not the country as a whole.”