It started Monday when a suspicious package addressed to Democratic donor and billionaire George Soros was intercepted. Afterward, packages addressed to the Clintons, former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, Robert DeNiro, and former CIA Director John Brennan all surfaced. None of these devices detonated.
Brennan was in Austin Wednesday addressing this threat. “I recognize there are a lot of raw emotions and feelings in this country and very strong feelings for individual political parties but this country was founded upon freedom and liberty. If I'm being targeted for speaking out i think that's a very unfortunate turn of events,” said Brennan.
As the search for the culprit continues, former State Department Counterterrorism Special Agent Fred Burton can't help but relive the Austin bombing. “He killed, he killed indiscriminately and there appeared to be no method to his madness as to a target set. When you look at our current bomber, the verdict is still out whether these are functioning devices,” said Burton.
Burton believes, the current bomber is trying to scare people and express a political agenda. But he says it still can't be taken lightly. “It will be fascinating from an investigative perspective to see if the current bomber watched the events of our Austin bomber and took away lessons from that, most of them do,” said Burton.
He said often, these bomb makers tend to enjoy the notoriety from the media coverage.
“If you remember during the Austin bombing, the bomb maker was looking at the media coverage surrounding the event, and then shifting tactics a bit,” said Burton.
Burton says the device this new bomb maker is using is a little different, but a tactic like using the mail system, is the same as Mark Conditt's.
“The Austin bomber used pipe bombs that were galvanized steel with end caps that you screw on if you go to a big box store like Home Depot, buy pipe and screw those in. What the current bomber is using is plastic pvc tape that you'll see in like new home construction,” said Burton.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley also feels old wounds are reopening with this news.
“It opens back up in our community and for many it never closed...especially for Anthony House and Draylen Mason's families, Esperanza Herrera as well. They suffered immense losses,” said Manley.
We may not know what this new bomber is doing yet...but Burton says we don't want to find out if this person is serious. “This is a wake-up call for mail rooms, and people who handle mail all around our nation now to be on alert,” said Burton.
If you receive a suspicious package, it is best to call police immediately.