Monday, 16 July, 2018

Another explosion injures 2 in Austin, Texas; cause unclear

Package Bomb Explodes At FedEx Facility In Texas Package 'explodes at FedEx facility in Texas', as police hunt for serial bomber
Scott Davis | 20 March, 2018, 04:47

Austin police said the tripwire technique used in Sunday's attack demonstrated a "higher level of sophistication" than the past three bombings.

The Sunday night explosion, which left two people wounded, appears to have been ignited using a trip wire, officials said.

"Is this terrorism? Is it hate-related?"

At 6:55 a.m., police said they were called to a home in the 1100 block of Haverford Drive, near East Howard Lane and Harris Ridge Boulevard, in the Harris Ridge neighborhood.

The next month, an apparent terrorist attack in New York City led Trump to Twitter to promote his "Extreme Vetting Program" just hours after the attack which killed eight people.

It killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason, a promising student who played stand-up bass in a youth orchestra and was taking college classes while in high school.

An explosion triggered by a trip wire injured two men in an Austin neighborhood near Southwest Parkway and MoPac on Sunday night, the fourth in a string of bombings that police believe are connected but have otherwise left investigators stumped.

"Video has become the most important piece of this sort of investigation", Davis, who now runs a Boston-based security consulting company, said in a phone interview.

"We have seen similarities in the device that exploded here last night and the other three devices that have exploded in Austin starting March 2", Manley said.

When asked whether the most recent attack was leading authorities to label the bombings terrorism, Manley said the department was still analyzing the scenes and that so far authorities believe they are dealing with a "serial bomber". "It's more sophisticated. It's not targeted to individuals", said FBI agent Chris Combs, in charge of the bureau's San Antonio division.

He told reporters: "We're very concerned that with tripwires a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something".




Manley, the police chief, appealed to the bomber to contact the authorities and to the public to report anything suspicious.

"We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this".

"I think people's senses need to be heightened", Moore said. "Pay attention to your surroundings".

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons involved in the deadly package blasts.

A serial bomber is suspected of planting four bombs detonated this month around Austin, Texas, that have killed two people and injured four others.

With Sunday's explosion, "everything changed", said Nelson Linder, the president of the Austin NAACP.

An FBI representative said at the briefing that 350 special agents were in Austin to help with the investigations.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler declined to say if the increased reward possibly prompted the latest explosion because "there's not enough data to know that". He said the use of a tripwire adds a "new level" of suspected professionalism that makes it harder to guard against such attacks.

"There is an army of federal agents, we have state resources, so we are putting every resource available, this is the highest priority", Adler told "GMA". "This is a group that is very determined and very focused, and I am confident that we're going to find whoever is responsible for this and then we're going to stop it".

Manley last week urged residents receiving unexpected packages to call authorities without touching or opening them, and police responded to hundreds of calls about suspicious packages but didn't find anything unsafe.

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