In what marks a continuing and extremely coordinated terrorist operation, actor and celebrated filmmaker Robert De Niro is the latest to be targeted with a pipe bomb. Earlier this morning at 5 am, a suspicious package addressed to De Niro was found outside the offices of his production company in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. The same building that is also the hub of the Tribeca Film Festival. The bomb had apparently been left outside the building and had been spotted by a security employee who noticed similarities between the package and photographs of other bombs that were discovered yesterday.
This is the latest in a string of recent bombings that seem almost certainly politically motivated. De Niro, among other things, has been a vocal Democrat and an even more vocal critic of President Donald Trump, even famously saying during the Tonys this year, “Fuck Trump.” The bomb sent to his TriBeCa Productions building was investigated by the New York Police Department, which removed the explosive device at about 6:30 am (it has since been taken to an NYPD range for disposal in the Bronx). This occurred almost simultaneously with the discovery of another bomb having been sent to former Vice President Joe Biden, which was spotted at a U.S. postal facility in Delaware. It had apparently been misaddressed and was being returned to the name written as the sender on the package, former Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Incidentally, this is how the bomb addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was discovered yesterday.
Indeed, both attacks mark a continued and growing effort to assassinate major political figures in the Democratic Party and some of their most famous backers. Yesterday saw the surreal realization that two former Presidents of the United States, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as the former Secretary of State and first major female candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, were sent bombs in the mail. At the same time, an attempt was made to deliver a bomb to George Soros, a billionaire supporter of the Democratic Party. In addition to a bomb sent to another Trump critic, former CIA Director John Brennan, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and one sent to the Columbus Circle offices of CNN in New York, this brings the total number of discovered bombs to nine.
While the political motivations of the bomber(s) are not fully clear at the moment, the mailings are evidently intended to terrorize and murder major voices on the political left. Every figure who has received a bomb has either publicly criticized President Trump or been accused of being anti-American by the president, such as when Trump called the media (with CNN often his favorite target) “the enemy of the people.”
In this vein, Robert De Niro’s spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, said this to CNN when asked about the terrorist act: “Extremely disturbing and frightening. It seems that all the people that were targeted have one thing in common, and that is their political beliefs. That is the only thing I can conclude at this point.”
Trump has since decried these bombings and called for a return to civility… while erroneously passing the blame to “the media” as being responsible for lowering the level of the current rhetoric. In a tweet this morning, the president explicitly blamed the media and “fake news” for the level of hostility in this country, and shirked complete responsibility for the toxicity in political discourse when he said, in language that might be confused for a threat, “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
In other words, there appears to be little concern in the Oval Office of dissuading some Americans that journalists (or for that matter political opponents) are not “the enemy of the people.”
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