Were mailed pipe bombs designed to explode?

Were mailed pipe bombs designed to explode?

Published by: Fox News

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: I’m Laura Ingraham. This is “The Ingraham Angle” from Washington and this is a Fox News alert.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective. You have to do that. The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop. No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done often, and it’s done all the time. It’s got to stop.


INGRAHAM: That was President Trump earlier tonight addressing the news of explosive devices sent to the homes or offices of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, George Soros and Maxine Waters, and one that was addressed to John Brennan but ended up somehow at CNN.

Now, we still don’t know anything about who is behind these undetonated bombs or what their possible motives could be? But of course that didn’t stop the media from cracking the case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at who they targeted so far, it’s almost like they are following Donald Trump’s twitter feed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we are in an era now where violence seems to have a license by the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the president certainly has encouraged this kind of rhetoric.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what happens when the president calls you the enemy of the people. Why did CNN get the bomb?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fox news hasn’t gotten a bomb yet.


INGRAHAM: It sounds almost like wish casting there, Sunny. Well, look, this might be politically motivated. After all, only Democrats received the packages. But let’s not go pointing fingers until we have all the details. Now what exactly do we know tonight? We thought we would go actually to people who report and who know something. Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge is here. Catherine, where are we at this hour?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks Laura. Within the lat hour the FBI confirming two more packages, both addressed to Congresswoman Maxine Waters bringing the total tonight to seven. Earlier today, FBI Director Christopher Wray issued this statement asking for the public’s help saying, no piece of information is too small and warning that more packages may be out there.

Director Wray said each package used the large Manila envelope with bubble wrap, six forever stamps with the same return address using the wrong spelling for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as well as computer printed address labels.

A former federal investigator tells Fox that such printers can embed identification codes into the actual print that can link the packages and in some cases trace the printer. As you mentioned, the first package to billionaire and Democrat donor George Soros arrived on Monday followed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, former CIA director John Brennan that was delivered to CNN, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Secret Service confirmed its routine mail screening intercepted both of the packages and they are working directly tonight with the FBI, ATF and the postal inspectors as part of the JTTF, that’s the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In his first public comment after the bomb scare, Brennan told an audience in Texas that President Trump was to blame for the political climate.


JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Trump too often has help to incite some of these feelings of anger, if not violence, when he points to acts of violence or also talks about, you know, swinging at somebody from the press.


HERRIDEG: And Brennan said he hoped the president’s statement condemning the pipe bombs marked a turning point. It’s important to note that no suspect, no motive or political agenda has been publicly linked by the FBI to these devices, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Catherine, the work of the Secret Service at the Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, that was critical in this case, was it not?

HERRIDGE: What has happened, so in the post 9/11 world, is that they have these off-site screening facilities and in the case of Hillary Clinton and also Barack Obama, they intercepted the packages before they even got to the home. So nobody — the intended recipient never touched anything that was dangerous.

INGRAHAM: And they have already concluded this is obviously all sent by the same person or a group of people who are responsible.

HERRIDGE: All the devices and the packaging have the same hallmarks and they are investigating it. The working theory is that it was a single individual or a single group.

INGRAHAM: Catherine, thank you so much for coming in tonight.

And so how sophisticated where these devices and why didn’t any of them actually detonate? We wanted to speak to some experts on the subject and Jimmie Oxley is a professor and explosive expert. She aided in the investigations in the ’93 World Trade Center bombing and the 2005 London bombings.

And Republican Rick Crawford is a member of the House Intel Committee and previously served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician for the four years he was in the U.S. Army. Thank you both for being here. Jimmie, I want to start with you. Having seen the pictures of these devices, how operational do they appear?

JIMMIE OXLEY, EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: Well, what we have seen is some x-rays and they looked like they would be operational. It is typical for EOD, Explosive Ordinance Disposal to be able to x-ray packages. They do that first to ensure that there is a device if you have a suspicious package. And then to take a look at where the initiations system is and how it works. In this case we are told there’s a digital clock as part of the device.

INGRAHAM: And I want to go to you Congressman Crawford. Bob Baer, former CIA operative was on CNN tonight. And he made a comment about the device. Let’s watch.


BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: They probably weren’t meant to go off, the worst kind of bomb you could send in the mail is a pipe bomb, they are easily discoverable, people are going to pick them up. They make no, you know, hand addressed in the rest of it. It makes no sense.


INGRAHAM: Do you agree with his analysis?

REP. RICK CRAWFORD, R-ARK.: Absolutely. I think it was probably designed to get attention. It was designed to be caught. And while it maybe a device that could function I think it was designed more than anything to strike fear in the hearts of those people who they were intended to target, not necessarily to kill them.

INGRAHAM: Professor, back to you. Tracing the individual, they believe an individual as Catherine Herridge said, is responsible for this one individual. Tracing the material back to that individual, it was so hard in the case of the Unabomber, huge damage obviously, horrific damage done at his hands. It took years and years. Why might this be different?

OXLEY: The Unabomber took years and years because his bombings were spread out over years and he actually had a hiatus from bombing for a number of years, if you remember that case. He was quite an experimentalist and tried different signatures. This particular person or group has already been linked, to seven bombs in three days.

And the post office has a lot better tracking facilities. Let’s face it, if these were caught before they got to the intended victims partly because the post office has certain precautions in place. Now they can trace it back to an area and start looking where the components, whether they be chemical components or physical components like the pipe itself, where those were purchased.

INGRAHAM: And Congressman, it was reported earlier today that the post office wasn’t used, that there was a courier used at the CNN drop for this particular envelope. So, the post office wasn’t, you know, the stamps weren’t marked, they weren’t actually stamped. Does that make it more difficult or less difficult? Same thing with the Soros mailbox, however, they left it Soros, apparently maybe in —

CRAWFORD: You might necessarily.

INGRAHAM: — so if it wasn’t the post office, security cameras and then the actual individual materials?

CRAWFORD: Yes, I think what you have is, you know, security protocols anytime you have, you know, any kind of commercial operation like CNN. They are going to have a high security, rigid security protocols. Certainly somebody a high profile individual like George Soros would have security protocols that would catch that kind of thing.

But, the other thing, you know, the comparison about the Unabomber and how long that took, the digital footprint is so much more pronounced today than it was when the Unabomber was active and so not only that. In this post 9/11 era, our bomb techs have gotten so much better in the technical exploitation of intelligence.

And so we have seen over the last several years, almost two decades now that we have been engaged encounter I.D. Operation, our sophistication as bomb techs has improved dramatically, so that we can go and attack the network quickly and identify those perpetrators, cut off their supply and be able to bring them to justice in a much more expeditious manner. And so, I think you will see this resolved much, much quicker than you would have in an incident like, for example the Unabomber

INGRAHAM: Now, professor, if you were profiling this case, what do you think the hallmarks are here, of who might be behind this? Given the way this device was assembled and of the targets that obviously were chosen?

OXLEY: Well that’s not really my expertise to talk about profiling, but usually bombs are by somebody that is either disgruntled, evil or just plain crazy. It’s hard to say what combination this is. I’m sure there’s much speculation on that point. But as I said that’s —

INGRAHAM: Congressman — sorry — Congressman, remember the House Intel Committee? Obviously members of Congress are taking this very seriously. The White House near immediate condemnation. Your sense from the House Intel Committee perspective tonight?

CRAWFORD: Well, you know, immediately I agree, you know, condemnation on this — this is a condemnable act regardless of who the perpetrator is. The good news is the resources we have available to go after the perpetrator or perpetrators as the case may be, and that we have a huge database.

And I will say this, as a former bomb tech, I know what the reporting protocols are and I know that the FBI has great expertise and the intelligence committee has great expertise in being able to go after and exploiting that intelligence and find out who these people are.

There is a big digital footprint here that they might not even be aware of. But I can tell you this, if these experts are aware of it and they will find the perpetrator very quickly and I think we’ll be surprised to see how quickly they are brought to justice in a case like this.

INGRAHAM: Good. Fantastic. Thank you both for joining us tonight, We really appreciate it. I want to bring in former secret service agent Dan Bonggino. Dan, thanks for being here. How does the agency address the threats like these and how much a part of the investigatory process will they be going forward?

DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT:  Well, this is interesting, Laura. The Secret Service has an MOU, a memorandum of understanding with the FBI. When an attack or an attempted attack like this actually happens, and it’s for obvious reasons. If an attack like this happens, the Secret Service typically doesn’t conduct the investigation. What they do is they’ll secure the crime scene, in this case, the mail facility and the FBI will come in and do the investigation.

The reason being, you don’t want the Secret Service investigating and (inaudible) potential hole in their security plan, which by the way there was not in this case. The Secret Service did everything by the numbers. They did a fantastic job. They acted wonderfully in this case, but the FBI will take over from this point. They just secure the crime scene, the Secret Service. One more thing Laura, they will be kept informed obviously about the status of the investigation, in case there is an ongoing threat.

INGRAHAM: Dan, we had ricin attacks back in December I believe. Mattis and chief of naval operations both received. You’ve had threats. , you know, we got that powder going to the Trump kids, even here at Fox some years ago including myself was, you know, we received these envelopes with harmless powder in the mail but it’s meant to scare you, it’s meant to frighten you. The fact that this has become political this fast, and I will play something that Hillary Clinton said earlier today for you and get your reaction. Let’s watch.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can to bring our country together. We also have to elect candidates who will try to do the same.

You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.


INGRAHAM: Yes. I thought it’s a flashback at the end to what you said recently about, you know, can’t be civil with certain people. So the fingers pointing at Trump all day long on the other networks, which I found disgusting, continue through the night, yet we had Holder, you know, “kick ’em,” Hillary, Booker, Maxine Waters, all the different points in time —

And Joe Biden of course, you know, take him behind the barn or whatever he said years ago. I mean, it’s rough-and-tumble world of politics. But the idea that this is now they are tagging Donald Trump with this, Jeff Zucker is (inaudible) obviously his network involved today with the, you know, with the envelope going there. It’s horrible. But Jeff Zucker, really? That’s where you want to go for now?

BONGINO: Yes, it’s gross. It’s disgusting. Matter of fact I remember doing commentary on this network during the really horrific shooting in the baseball field. Every commentator on this network going out of their way to make sure, me included by the way, even on my own show, that the person who did that, Bernie Sanders, although he was a supporter, had no responsibility for that whatsoever, none. That person was responsible for their own actions.

And yet, in an incident like today, Laura, let’s be clear. We have no evidence whatsoever about who this person was yet that’s been released publicly. I’m sure the FBI is working on it. None that indicate a motive. Zero. And yet we have irresponsible gross coverage out there, people jumping to conclusions, claiming they have some kind of inside information about a motive and some kind of link to Donald Trump.

I mean, this is really grotesque. There is no place for this. And that clip you played on Hillary sums it all up. Just a week ago she was talking about uncivil treatment of Republicans being almost mandatory, and now all of a sudden she’s the peacemaker?

We just had one of her advisors on the network yesterday, defending, confronting in some cases aggressively, Republicans out in public places. I mean listen, there is no place for violence and politics. Period. Full Stop. Nothing further needed. But there is a place in politics to call out frauds. And if you haven’t been on that side of non-violent, an event you need the entire time. Don’t jump in the game now and try to blame it on Donald Trump.

INGRAHAM: After the president came out and condemned obviously these horrible, you know, bomb attacks — would be bomb attack — CNN had a panel, various people came out. It was not enough for them, you will be surprised to hear, I’m sure, Dan. Let’s watch.

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