[UPDATED] Fake N/e/w/s/ Bombs?

When the Soros bomb was found, it was interesting.

When the Clinton bomb was initially reported to have been found at her home, it was perplexing. As Kenny at Knuckledraggin’ put it: “So let’s see, whoever left this got into a gated community, past the neighbors, past the Secret Service, past all the hired help and then past a state of the art security system…”

I was thinking hoax by then. Then more “bombs” were reported, including one sent to Cuomo which wasn’t even a bomb.

About the time the CNN “bomb” was reported, the reports on the Clinton (and Obama) bomb were revised to being intercepted at a mail screening facility, not the home (which made more sense from a security perspective anyway).

But as of this writing, we’re allegedly up to nine “bombs,” none of which have exploded.

0 for 9. The Columbine psychos did better than that. Either this is the most inept mad bomber in history, or they were never intended to detonate. Maybe they can’t detonate.

NYT: Pipe Bombs Sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN Offices
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 — 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.

A timer for a mail bomb seems odd at all. Usually they’re triggered by opening the package. A six-inch length of 1″ PVC isn’t going to make much of a bomb either; more of a flashbang.

The X-rays are interesting.

Supposedly, these were to be powered by a single “button battery” charging a “hot bridge wire initiator”. The wire inside the pipes looks rather heavy gauge for a pyrotechnic bridgewire; I question whether a little button battery could supply sufficient current to heat that wire and set off the charge.

A simple incandescent flashlight bulb (break off the glass, leaving the filament intact), or model rocketry igniter, would be far more effective.

Timer, visible timer display, too large a bridgewire, too small a battery, tiny plastic pipe bomb…


So who did it? And why? A quick re-check of news doesn’t mention suspects yet, so all I’ve got is almost speculation.

1. It could be someone on the far right fringe. The seeming targeting of Dem leadership, and their supporting media, would be ironically consistent with Mike Vanderboegh’s “Clinton Rules of Engagement.”.

Countering that notion is that most folks 1) inclined to apply the CRE, 2) inclined to make bombs, and 3) actually get one to Soros’ place, would be making real, effective bombs. We’d have some dead staffers and mail screeners.

2. Cui bono? Recent indications are that the Dems may not have the “blue wave” they anticipated for the mid-terms. And suddenly, out of the… blue, we have a series of remarkably ineffective “bombs” sent to Dems and left-wingers (but I repeat myself). They gain more sympathy, to judge by Twitter and most of the media I’ve checked. I see a lot of “This is why we have to get out the vote for Dems.”

Note that when a politically-motivated person decided to kill Republicans, he used a real gun, real bullets, and inflicted real damage. The lack of any damage here suggests no such thing was supposed to happen to their darling Dems.

3. Lone nutjob doing it for inexplicable reasons that may or may not be particularly political. But in such a case, I’d expect two things from nine (so far) attempts: real bombs, and a dead or injured bomber.

We’ll just have to wait and see what final narrative is decided upon.

Added: I see I’m not alone in my suspicions.

Former bomb disposal officer weighs in on CNN’s ‘bomb’: ‘That thing is just silly looking’
1. Proper pipe bombs don’t have wires connected to both ends. That’s dumb.

2. You can find timers / remote control receivers WAY smaller than whatever that white box is. A proper timer would best be stored inside the pipe, making it fully encapsulated. That thing is just silly looking.

Darn it. I meant to mention the wires going in both ends myself. A pipe bomb made with a low-order explosive like gunpowder needs to be contained while burning powder builds up pressure. Holes drilled in caps are weak points, making it less likely that lethal pressure will develop. But, since you have to get inside — assuming an external initiating device as here — you need one hole. Two holes adds to the possibility of failure.

I always loved movie bombs with timers taped to blocks of plastique, with blasting caps sticking out. If I had good plastic explosives, I’d mold the block completely around the electronics and caps; let some movie hero find the right wires to cut that way.

Added, 2: So someone found on Amazon what appears to be the model clock used in the CNN “bomb.”

It’s a clock. Not an alarm clock. No alarm output. Which means it cannot be used as a bomb timer.

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