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Facts and Questions in the “MAGABomber” Case

UPDATE – It was just announced that the FBI had arrested a suspect, Cesar Sayoc – a 56 year old Floridian man. Rather predictably, he has pictures on his Facebook of Trump rallies, and his van was covered in anti-Hillary and anti-CNN stickers. However the story rolls out from this point, we should remember the initial reporting of the facts, and confused narrative threads. Because there’s a decent chance many things listed in this article will soon be memory-holed.


A photo the device mailed to CNN/John Brennan. Note the digital clock, explosives experts have said that a real bomb maker would never use one.

Two days ago, suspicious packages were allegedly delivered to the homes of George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Later that day, and into the next, more people were “targeted”: Eric Holder, John Brennan, Robert De Niro, CNN. The list is still growing.

So far, no one has claimed any credit for the packages, and none of the alleged bombs have gone off, or even got anywhere near their respective targets. Fortunately, no one has been hurt.

Despite the total silence from investigators, on the subject of blame…the media reaction was as immediate as it was predictable. Within hours social media had dubbed the incident #MAGAbomber, using the acronym of Trump’s campaign slogan (Make America Great Again) to assign blame to Trump. The corporate media were not far behind.

The Guardian has run three different opinion pieces about this, virtually identical but for the by-line, plus an anonymous editorial. They all blame Trump’s “violent rhetoric” for this “terror attack”. The Huffington Post and CNN agree. As does Alexander Soros in the New York Times (that last one is especially jarring given their short story revelling in the idea of President Trump being assassinated).

Of course, Russia has also been blamed – one pundit said he “feared this was a Russian operation” to divide America, whilst another blamed “Russian bots” for inciting hatred.

The really interesting part of this incident, though, is the level of division in the media coverage. For the first time in a really long time there is a true split in the media over the narrative of a “terrorist” attack – with many mainstream voices on the “right” calling this a false flag attack to whip up Democrat support prior to the mid-term elections next month.

The talk is so prevalent that both the Guardian and the New York Times ran articles decrying the “Far Right” for promoting “conspiracy theories”.

Whatever the truth is, and however the official narrative congeals itself into a rotten whole in the coming days, there are definitely some odd things about the situation.

Curious Anomalies

The success rate – None of the bombs went off. Not one. We’re over a dozen deep in bombs now, not one explosion.

The “movie bombs” – Some of the bombs were reported as duds, some even as fakes. This is a screen-capped quote from the New York Times:

The ISIS flag – the only publicly released picture of a “device” so far is the one addressed to “John Brenan” (sic). It seemed to have a picture of John Brennan’s face on it, alongside an ISIS flag. Although some people claim it’s not a real ISIS flag, but a pastiche. ISIS flags, real or fake, are easy to find online, so it doesn’t point to blame, and ISIS have not taken responsibility.

The postage – each alleged bomb was posted in identical packaging, a padded envelope, with 6 identical flag stamps. None of the photos released so far have appeared to carry a postmark from the US Postal Service either.

examples of USPS postmarks

The non-bomb – Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, claimed to have received a bomb. The NYPD later revealed that was not true, he had instead been sent something “unrelated to other devices”. They never said what the item was, or how they knew it was unrelated:

Strange mistakes – several of the packages had very simple factual and/or spelling errors. John Brennan and Joe Biden had their names incorrectly spelled. The state of the return address was “FLORIDS” rather than Florida. John Brennan’s “bomb” was sent to CNN, when Brennan more often works for MSNBC.

What does all of this mean? As usual we at OffG are watching and waiting for evidence, rather than leaping to conclusions. It could be a Democratic false-flag to stir up pre-election sympathy and further demonise Trump. It could be a move to distract people from the US pulling out of the INF treaty or the increasingly bizarre Khashoggi story. My personal feeling is that this is meant for a domestic American audience rather than an international one. It doesn’t feel like it has the legs to run a great distance, but who knows?

The press reaction bears watching, though. Though pseudo-leftwing voices are currently all blaming the POTUS for creating this climate, the mention of “Russian bots” should have everyone on social media – and especially the alternate news media – on edge. This has all the hallmarks of an issue that will be used as an excuse to empower governments and corporations to “banish hate from their platforms” or something similar.

Expect a fresh rush of censorship and social-media bans in the coming weeks.

I will leave you with our now traditional list of unanswered questions:

  1. What’s the story behind Gov. Cuomo’s “non-bomb”?
  2. Why did the alleged bomber use color coded wires and digital clocks, when these are hallmarks of “movie bombs”, rather than reality?
  3. Why did the alleged bomber send the bombs in envelopes which betray the size, shape and feel of their contents, rather than cardboard boxes which would hide it?
  4. How come none of the packages appear to be postmarked? Were they delivered by private courier or by hand instead? In that case, why the stamps?
  5. Why is nobody in the press discussing the “ISIS flag” found on one the devices? Is the flag an attempt to frame to ISIS, or an honest claim of responsibility?
  6. Either way – doesn’t its presence indicate whoever made the “bomb” was fairly sure it was going to be seen, and therefore, was not going to blow up?
  7. Will the right-wing media “come around” and stop discussing the idea this was a false-flag?

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.


  1. frank says

    There are two deep state factions at work in the US.
    One faction (happens to) support Trump, the other opposes him.

    (So the faction supporting Trump is currently winning considering they got their man into office. It’s like two mafia clans fighting each other.)

    Both factions have now orchestrated a false flag operation, one that supported Trump, another that opposed him (possibly as a reaction to the first).

    (MAGAbomber & Pittsburgh synagogue shooting)

    (I think this is more plausible than one faction playing both sides, which is also a possibility.)

    Notice how both times the perpetrator was a caricature.
    One was a caricature of a Trump supporter, the other was a caricature of an anti Semite, which in itself is a caricature of an anti Zionist.

    Trump as usual is there to provide the comic relief by saying the death penalty would help prevent these things. First of all most of these perpetrators commit suicide. Second that is assuming these things are real in the first place. But we can all use a laugh in these bizarro-world circumstances.

    Again this is speculation but I think one faction has the support of the CIA and the other of the FBI. And it is my impression that the CIA is much better (and more ruthless) at these false flag operations then the FBI. Not surprising considering it’s their core business and they have a lot of experience.

    Interesting to note that social media platform Gab is being punished. I guess they didn’t play along with the social media purge of anti-establishment voices. Just another “coincidence” right?

    In any case false flag season is officially open again, that much is clear. Can’t wait for the next episode. Will it be a chemical weapons attack, a school shooting, a rampaging truck? Or will they introduce new ideas? Must be hard keeping it original at this point. My money’s on Syria or Iran for the next one. Or Turkey maybe. F*ck, I give up.

    Btw, does anybody believe those “migrant caravans” are not orchestrated?

  2. These short interviews with my people might shed some light on our dilemma here.Maybe we’re not so bad after all. We’re just….well, listen to us here…..really.

  3. retrospin says

    I don’t know what this might mean, but it appears that all, or nearly all of the recipients are from the “New Democratic” wing of the Democratic party, that is to say, pseudo-leftists – that is to say, fascist servants of the .001 percent.

  4. DunGroanin says

    It certainly is to do with churning the news cycle.

    The defeat of the neocon head choppers in Syria
    The defection of Turkey to the Russian nexus there and Erdogans masterful revenge for the failed CIA/ SIS coup, by controlling the news for a week.
    The failure of the Democrats to regain their traditional voter base so far and their stepford ‘candidates’.
    AND the failure of the FBI bs investigation to produce even a single connection between Trump and Putin in his election – we are told to instead consider his togger based on some porn star/ sex workers recollections – great memory or do i mean what a mammary!

  5. Clearly the US patsies are not up to speed. I mean operating out of a van with the labels on the side. Even the A Team knew anonymity was essential!

    No Novichok

    No bone saws

    Please but pipe bombs so 1970’s – does anyone smoke them any more?

    Maybe I missed a meeting, but I thought it was all chemical weapons and brutal murders these days – and all charity funded?


  6. bjd says

    Uhm, did any of these parcels or their bombs actually contain, you know, whatshamycallit — explosives?

    • Yonatan says

      They did contain some material that self-identified as explosive. And we know that is all you need.

      • Seamus Padraig says

        Self-identified as explosive? Well, I guess explosiveness must be a social construct, too!

  7. paul metcalf says

    how about if mario cuomo was told he was going to receive a bomb but it actually got lost but he said he received it anyway!a bit like WT7 not getting hit by a plane but they let it blow up.maybe it’s an american thang.

  8. grafter says

    What a sick nation America has become.

    • Were contagious also. And terminal. Our disease is psychopathy. I know how we spread it too. Money. It’s contaminated Please avoid our money. I know we’ll bomb you if you do, but we’ll bomb you if you don’t. Our bombs are expensive.This is how we employ many of our well paid citizens .When we pay them our money, you know what happens then. We’re on a roll. Anybody want to try to stop us? I mean…..cure us.Good luck.

    • ourblue says

      It seems inappropriate to use ‘sick’ as a description of the U.S.A. Terminally ill and on life support would better fit the bill.

  9. franking says

    There is no evidence the packages went through the mail. No post marks or cancellations.

    And US mail scans all packages.

    If none of the packages went through the mail but were delivered by a courier service then the sender would have needed to be in multiple places at once to hand them over.
    And the packages would not need stamps.
    And the packages would need a special label which is missing.

    Also the van looks staged. Paint job, brand new stickers, no wear and tear, no aging.

    History of the alleged perp is also highly suspicious.

  10. Makropulos says

    I think it’s significant that the media always like to associate false flag / conspiracy theory with the right. This is similar to the way they try to associate rejection of the Democrats with racism/sexism etc. The basic tactic is to drive any criticism into a reactionary camp.

  11. Seamus Padraig says

    OT: I decided I’d been free-loading long enough. I just went and made a contribution via PayPal. Keep up the good work, Off-Guardian!

  12. BigB says

    On the bright side: from the official ideological channels (the state ideological apparatuses) – it’s getting easier and easier to spot the lies. From a politician or other capitalist Praetorian spox: just watch for the lips moving. From a ‘printed’ textual source: even if they print the truth, or a version of it, it has an agenda …so even the truth is a lie.

    It’s good to see the defunct Dems feel they are so unelectable they resorted to sending themselves bombs to garner some support for the Mid-Terms. The bad news is it may metaphorically explode in their face and empower the Repugnacants. Either way, the anti-human war party wins.

    An honest sociologist would declare a ‘crisis of legitimacy’. All elections are null and void. Instead, the roll out is that the US has the apex model of legitimate governance and democracy. The envy of the world. One that has to be bombed into existence globally.

    What a total effing farce.

  13. Speaking of false flags. In 2009, I had been very much looking forward to the long anticipated acknowledgement and press that the survivors of the Liberty were finally receiving…………


    As the media began to print, this happened……………..


    Anti-right-wing fanaticism exploded in the news and the Liberty story vanished. Maybe coincidence. Maybe not. Sure was convenient timing for some.

  14. DaveMass says

    Just a little side-line to all articles on Off-G-
    Can we stop using the term ‘left-wing’ re any US political discourse?
    Compared to any other country in the world where real left-wing politics exists,
    U.S.A. at best, starts centre, and tends -.> right wing, (using a European-type definition)?

    • Unfortunately the left right manta is the cadence of our political body. We know it is one body listing to the right.We also know the cliff is near. I think we just like marching.Makes no sense at all.

  15. frank says

    “As usual we at OffG are watching and waiting for evidence, rather than leaping to conclusions.”

    What more do you want? A public admission from the CIA that it was a false flag?

    This has all the hallmarks of a false flag. Considering all the surveillance they have finding a nutcase like Cesar Sayoc would be trivially easy.

    – rabid Trump fan
    – crazy
    – rap sheet a mile long
    – profit!

    Then make him an unwitting patsy or have somebody make him do this kind of thing.

    Ultimately this was very cheap. Nothing happened. All that really happened was some fake “bombs” were sent in the mail. Or not even sent at all, a picture will do for the msm. How much more transparent does it need to get?

    The sad thing (and scary thing) is that they can get away with this.

    Also this Cesar Sayoc was making death threats on social media. Actual death threats. But did he get banned? NO. This in a climate where criticizing the war gets you purged.


  16. The structure of this operation is typical. We know well by now, the elements of false flag. Recall the Anthrax hoax as an example.
    Will this new incident be found to have occurred simultaneously with an FBI drill having been conducted? Will the culprits be coincidentally discovered just before midterms ….and with all the same incriminating evidence always found on them? The people who put on these events must have a big room full of containers labeled Bomb making props – child porn- cocaine looking powder, instruction manuals – MAGA hats -packing material etc.


    Will we get the ‘lone’ mastermind behind this event immediately after they commit suicide or before? Will this person have all sorts of conspiracy theories on their lap top, thus giving rise to a new purge of web sites? Don’t forget the child porn. Will the dead suspect who is covered with swastikas, then be immediately thrown in the ocean to honor his religion?
    If we noticed the subliminal messages in films like ‘Black Klansman’, how could it not now be in the minds of many of it’s viewers to be expecting that Donald Trump is actually the Grand Wizard of the KKK…….this is what the film intimates.
    Will we later see a clip of the exact same script about these current events being read by 37 separate media outlets at the same moment on tv? All of course, found to have been written before the incident even occurred.

    This new mail bomb story has incorporated in it all the obvious elements of fraud. This is deliberate. Our subsequent debate about it is predetermined. It will have us constantly waiting for ‘BREAKING NEWS’ It never varies because there is no need to do so.We believe anything because we have been divided especially for that purpose. Our opinion is always just a news flash away.
    Voting is the solution we are always given. We must vote in new leaders who will then echo the spoon fed opinions we were given ….until they are elected. It does not matter what occurs for our having voted. All of the so called leaders on both sides are subservient to something far deeper and much darker in power.
    The gurgling, thunderous stench of information and ever changing shadows envelope us with one singularly hypnotic message. Vote, Vote, Vote. “Participate in the dialog we provide you”.
    We have long ago been separated from any of the fundamental values which were conducive to any union of human beings. We respond now only to that diabolical, multilayered and multi headed, construct which perpetually disconnects us from truth and reality. When will we realize that they are no more than representatives of a human meat grinder, selling us colored balloons and poisoned information candy to keep us entertained like children and distracted like the prisoners reacting to shadows on Plato’s cave wall.

  17. Stonky says

    The Guardian is pretty much where I expect it to be right now. But I’m sure it will come round.Once we find ourselves in a situation where thousands of Trump supporters are blowing up hundreds of people on a daily basis, to the accompaniment of loud cries of MAGA! MAGA! the Guardian will assure us that:
    1. This has nothing to do with Trump
    2. These people are not true Trumpists
    3. Trumpism is an ideology of peace.

    • milosevic says

      Trumpism is an ideology of peace.

      as opposed to Clintonism, of course.

  18. Create jobs & trade says

    The fellow was sending product samples. A product that will create jobs and boost the trade balance in the US favour.

    The intention was those receiving the samples would flog the items to their contacts overseas, let’s say the Saudis. Yes, the Israelis will get the products for free, but payments from the Saudis will ensure they cover the free ones for the Israelis.

    What is it not to like?

  19. Paul says

    And this Patsy with a criminal record as long as your arm and a mental health file even bigger, lives in a van producing not in-expensive ‘bombs’ and posts them in the nearby post box to people he dislikes. America trembles at the threat implied. … Likely f……g story! Since poor old Sergei got weighed off the Deep State have dived into a Spooks Paradise of fun and games. They’re all at it, Turks, Saudis, Israelis, Russians, Iranians; the list is endless as they are ALL at it. Occasionally the pieces in the mosaic come together to present an understandable narrative. Currently the Deep State claims it has Trump on the run, especially now with a Republican running around trying to kill Democrats! It means Trump is no better if not worse than the Crown Prince. The only doubt about this scenario is the inepitude of those running the PR. It’s a bit like the Saudis, they rather want people to know what ruthless bastards they can be. Every gangster has to show that regularly,
    The photo of the device shows something only a little short of saying in big caps “CAREFUL! BOMB!!”. It’s laughable really – but it isn’t because it suggests they don’t care how weak the argument is because they’ll do it anyway.

    • Stonky says

      The organisers of this event really missed a trick. The outside of the packages should have had a label saying “ACME Corp”. And the bombs should have been big black balls with a fuse sticking out. Oh, and marked “BOMB!” obviously.

      • milosevic says

        the bombs should have been big black balls with a fuse sticking out.

  20. Fair dinkum says

    Could it be that these ‘bombs’ are exactly as they appear?
    Ineffective devices sent by a disaffected dope?
    The Drainstream media lap it up of course.
    What surprises me is why there aren’t more assassination attempts on the hubristic and psychotic One Per Cent.

    • Admin says

      Why is that per se more probable or more rational than a clumsy attempt to discredit the “alt Right” and Trump supporters?

      • Stonky says

        To be fair to dinkum (s)he didn’t suggest it was an either/or. And a combination of both seems perfectly likely too – that Sayoc had some ‘help’.

      • The one per cent has us too busy thinking that all problems can be solved by voting. Didn’t the right side point the finger at the one percent while the left took down the right sides websites? Or was that visa versa? No…..well …no……or was it ? Was what what? Wait a Minuit. Our head is spinning.Maybe we haven’t yet recovered from the hope and change ride.I need water.

    • PSJ says

      Is that how they “appear” to you, Fair dinkum? They don’t appear remotely that way to me. To me they appear to be crassly and cynically faked.

      • milosevic says

        they appear to be crassly and cynically faked.

        The point of this, of course, is to rub it in the nose of everybody who’s paying attention.

        “We know you know, and we’re making it completely obvious, to show you that there’s nothing you can do about it. You had better keep your mouth shut, or we might pick you for our next fake terrorist patsy.”

  21. In addituon Cuomo’s “non-bomb” there was a US media report earlier today about a search for a “missing bomb.” Since this apparently happened before the arrest we have to wonder how anyone could have known there was a missing bomb.

    • DaveMass says

      Deep state’s lost one of their ‘bombs’?!

    • milosevic says

      we have to wonder how anyone could have known there was a missing bomb.

      It’s the one that was supposed to be delivered to Cuomo, but wasn’t.

      “Your bomb is in the mail.”

  22. Kathy says

    I am finding it is becoming almost dizzying the continual twists and turns going on recently in what is euphemistically called the real world. It is increasingly surreal out there . It feels as if we are all meant to be being pulled into this delusional illusion. Very few people are asking the pertinent and glaringly obvious questions. {Off guardian being one of the very few doing so}.Thank you. I am incredulous at how there is never any perspective offered Or any one mentioning all of the elephants wandering round. It just seams it is all becoming more and more desperate some how. I don’t know if in their attempts to keep people entranced and spellbound The media arrogantly believe us all so hypnotized now. That they don’t need to put any effort in at all any more. Do they not realize they are themselves becoming increasingly transparent.

    • PSJ says

      I fear the feeling of disorientation you describe may be part of the intended effect, Kathy

      • Kathy says

        PSJ I believe you are right on this. I like you think this is deliberately designed. To be of a similar effect to sitting on a rock in the center of a fast moving river. After a little while you feel as though you are moving too. It seams the more the narrative is being questioned. The more is thrown into the mix and the stronger the flow is. A bombardment of illusional whirl pools. if you are not properly grounded to begin with.
        It can feel a little like disembarking from a roller-coaster. Even when you are grounded it is good to take some time out from it and recenter again. The shear amount of spinning going on right now is a spectacle to behold..

    • Yarkob says

      i think the coined term is “hypernormalisation”. If you believe Adam Curtis, and i have deep misgivings about both his sources and motives, then the term, and practice, is originally a Russian one, but perfected by western media-driven policy/governments. Whoever, whenever, it’s a great tool for mass distraction, but as you point out, it’s in the realms of blatant absurdity and obvious farce, now..that isn’t necessarily a good thing imo. when the mask slips, or even falls, what is revealed has no fear of discovery any more..we live in interesting times, indeed

      • Yarkob says

        or, to quote that well-known bastion of political insight, Frank Zappa:

        “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

      • flem says

        I’d say a better term to describe what’s going on would be “gaslighting” – as to most people it’s not an obvious farce but deeply confusing and discourages their critical thinking

      • milosevic says

        If you believe Adam Curtis, and i have deep misgivings about both his sources and motives, then the term, and practice, is originally a Russian one, but perfected by western media-driven policy/governments.

        • Speaking of Adam Curtis, I am also skeptical, but take away what I can from from the information he provides. His recent – HYPERNORMALIZATION documentary is full of information to research. The world of algorithms in particular. Then keeping in mind how those algorithms are currently used to modify your search perimeters of it. All very compelling food for thought. They certainly keep us entertained.

  23. Stygg says

    Even if they had postmarks, are they really light enough to post with only six stamps? About how much would one of these devices weigh?

    • Admin says

      I believe the postage was fairly accurate for the weight. But if they were posted it’s not clear where the franking is or why it isn’t visible in any photos.

    • Martin Usher says

      One of the packages illustrated had writing on it saying there was insufficient postage — there was $3 in stamps but it needed $3.75. Mail rates are confusing but I think its good for 5 or 6 ounces.

      The ISIS flag wasn’t, it was a pastiche that looks a bit like it but part of the ‘arabic’ writing was made from a couple of the nudes you usually find on truck mudflaps placed back to back.

      This is a pretty amateurish attack. You can guess that a package arriving unsolicited at a prominent person’s house or place of business that’s covered in stamps and home made labels is going to get looked at closely. I’m not even sure the devices were bombs, they’re just ‘bomb like’. The person arrested appears to be straight out of MAGA Casting Central — registered Republican, Florida resident, social media posts at Trump rallies wearing the kit and so on. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t a put up job, false flag or whatever, but just the inevitable consequence of the poor quality discourse that streams from right wing media outlets (not to mention AM talk radio — some of that stuff has to be heard to be believed — there must be people out there who are listening to it and taking it seriously because I know some; they have this mindset that the more ridiculous things become in the real world the deeper they dig themselves into their own counter-world.)

      • Jen says

        I am sure US Postal Service employees, like their equivalents in most parts of the world, have been trained in postal bomb recognition guidelines and how to use them. There are certain characteristics that bombs put through the post often have. Some of these characteristics include having too many stamps and wires hanging out, being too bulky and heavy for their size, and no return addresses.

        It is very likely the pipe bombs in question were never put through the US Postal Service but were instead couriered directly to the victims’ homes. This would mean whoever sent them knew the victims’ addresses very well, and moreover the victims are likely to know this person well enough that the pipe bombs were not subjected to the appropriate security screening. People as well known as Hillary Clinton, Robert de Niro and George Soros are likely to receive a lot of unwanted mail from cranks, pranksters, would-be stalkers and others they don’t want to know, so any and all mail sent to them would be screened by security people they know and trust (either security they themselves hire or government security) before it reaches their front gates.

        • Martin Usher says

          The one that was illustrated did have a return address, obviously not a real one but the address of another potential recipient of a package. The package wouldn’t have got delivered without scrutiny, thought — it practically screams ‘bomb’ (and like someone else remarked, its missing labels like ‘ACME’ or ‘Caution — Explosives’!).

          Other odd things are the use of small electric clocks as some kind of detonation device. Quite apart from a watch battery having insufficient energy to set off explosives who would be stupid enough to use a timer on a package bomb? Its supposed to go off when the package is opened, not at some random time.

          I do know people who think like this guy so I don’t think he’s a total false flag but he might have been “agent provocatuered”. The FBI is notorious for inventing Islamic conspiracies, encouraging the puerps and then catching them in the act so it wouldn’t be out of character for one to set up a MAGA. There is actually a real problem with these types so you’d expect law enforcement to be taking an active interest, they’re actually far more of a threat to life and liberty than a generic Islamic extremist. The bit that’s really difficult to deal with is that their cheerleaders are in positions of actual power — normally they’re on the margins in their own little worlds but these days that weirdness has become normal.

      • Thomas Peterson says

        if it has insufficient postage they don’t deliver it, they put a card through the letterbox telling you you need to pay the difference and pick it up at the post office

  24. LadyDi says

    Good summation. We need to remember how these things initiate and how they change over time. I don’t think there’s much doubt this is a false flag/hoax. I don’t subscribe to that routinely, but this one is right out of the Reichstag Fire playbook

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