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Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:05 PM

Note to Bomber: You don't need a $6.00 Wal-Mart clock on a mail bomb

So, this is purported to be one of the devices in question:



Among the many "What's Wrong With This Picture?" things that is obvious to anyone with a nodding acquaintance with how almost anything works, is the clock.

A "mail bomb" is a bomb you send through the mail, in the hope that you will blow someone up when it is opened at its destination. It is, of course, utterly pointless to send mail bombs to persons who do not open their own packages in the first place - i.e. to a corporate mail room or to a figure with Secret Service protection. Because they are never going to open their own packages, and the only thing you are going to do is to create alarm.

In other words, sending a mail bomb to the Clintons, CNN, the Obamas or George Soros is a pointless idea in the first place, since none of them open their own mail. Heck, I run a fairly insignificant small business and *I* don't even open my own mail. So, even if your package was delivered and went off as hoped, you wouldn't have any realistic chance of actually harming the person in question.

Now, the other thing about a "mail bomb" is that you want the device to be triggered by the package being opened and/or the object being removed. There are a lot of ways to do that - mechanical, optical, and so on. The basic idea is that you want to close an electrical contact when the device is about to be discovered.

One thing you certainly DO NOT WANT TO USE to trigger your device, is a TIMER.

Time bombs are great for bombs that you want to go off at a particular time, and you can use all kinds of timers for time bombs. Cheap electric alarm clocks are nice, since you don't have to rig up a lot of special circuitry, but you can just use the wires to the alarm speaker to close a relay or other switch to a larger battery to fire your igniter or cap.

However, that's kind of pointless for a mail bomb. Because, again, if you are interested in taking out the recipient of the package at the time they receive it and open it, then you HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. So, using a timer of any kind is beside the point.

I gather the idea here was to send someone a package and to helpfully let them know what time it is when they open it?

https://www.walmart.com/ip/LCD-Digital-Table-Car-Dashboard-Desk-Electronic-Clock-Date-Time-Calendar-Display-LCD-Digital-Clock-Table-Clock/640253786



That cheap clock, which is the one used as you can tell from the shape and location of the buttons and the bezel, doesn't even HAVE an alarm function.

This device was built for show.

48 replies, 3154 views

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Reply Note to Bomber: You don't need a $6.00 Wal-Mart clock on a mail bomb (Original post)
jberryhill Oct 2018 OP
More_Cowbell Oct 2018 #1
jberryhill Oct 2018 #3
OilemFirchen Oct 2018 #5
jberryhill Oct 2018 #10
OilemFirchen Oct 2018 #11
jberryhill Oct 2018 #21
pnwmom Oct 2018 #6
jberryhill Oct 2018 #7
pnwmom Oct 2018 #9
jberryhill Oct 2018 #14
pnwmom Oct 2018 #19
jberryhill Oct 2018 #23
pnwmom Oct 2018 #24
jberryhill Oct 2018 #25
pnwmom Oct 2018 #26
jberryhill Oct 2018 #33
pnwmom Oct 2018 #35
Ms. Toad Oct 2018 #39
pnwmom Oct 2018 #40
Ms. Toad Oct 2018 #47
pnwmom Oct 2018 #48
janx Oct 2018 #2
dchill Oct 2018 #4
lpbk2713 Oct 2018 #8
jberryhill Oct 2018 #17
Hekate Oct 2018 #12
betsuni Oct 2018 #13
panader0 Oct 2018 #15
jberryhill Oct 2018 #18
panader0 Oct 2018 #20
Takket Oct 2018 #16
sarisataka Oct 2018 #22
pnwmom Oct 2018 #27
anarch Oct 2018 #31
xor Oct 2018 #43
yardwork Oct 2018 #28
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2018 #29
PubliusEnigma Oct 2018 #30
spanone Oct 2018 #32
joshcryer Oct 2018 #34
defacto7 Oct 2018 #36
Vinnie From Indy Oct 2018 #37
dawg day Oct 2018 #38
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2018 #41
xor Oct 2018 #44
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2018 #45
jberryhill Oct 2018 #46
bigtree Oct 2018 #42

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:12 PM

1. Some official described the bombs as "rudimentary but functional."

A good description of the deplorables, isn't it?

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Response to More_Cowbell (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:16 PM

3. It was intended solely for show


I can point to several other "yeah, right" features of that "bomb", and that's simply due to my background in electrical engineering, and no particular expertise in IEDs.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:24 PM

5. Then why fill it with an explosive compound?

Ineptness is a more likely explanation.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:31 PM

10. If the builder was "ept" enough to rig a timer with that clock...

...then he/she would know the clock is pointless, and only adds a component for which he/she would not have wanted to generate a purchase receipt in the event other information produces a range of suspects.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:37 PM

11. Did you just agree with me?

Glad that's settled.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:02 PM

21. Like "marginally functional" ineptness


I mean, sure. There could be someone who is so profoundly messed up that they think filling a piece of pipe with black power and then sticking in some wires and a clock makes a “bomb”, but I doubt someone at that cognitive level would figure out how to mail them.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:26 PM

6. You're assuming that the bomb maker was as smart as an electrical engineer/lawyer. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:28 PM

7. Uh, what's the clock for?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:30 PM

9. I can't read the person's mind. But maybe for purposes of terrorizing Democrats. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:52 PM

14. Why would anyone who has other people open their mail be terrorized?


Crazy people threaten politicians and large companies every danger day. If I had the secret service screening my mail for just this sort of thing, I wouldn’t be bothered by it in the least.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:02 PM

19. Because they care about the people who work for them. Is that hard for you to imagine?

CNN and Soros don't have the Secret Service screening mail for them.

And to intimidate Democrats in the public who hear about the bombs. The fact that objects like this could get through the mail to their targets sends a message. This time they had clocks but no alarms. Next time there might be no clock and the bomb could be set to detonate upon opening.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #19)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:11 PM

23. Soros doesn't open his own mail

And CNN’s mail is opened by low level employees.

It is also likely that the CNN mailroom and Soros’ staff have some security awareness/procedures.

It is the job of Secret Service to literally jump in front of bullets if need be. That’s why they are there. That is not to say they aren’t cared for, but sending a thoroughly anticipated sort of device By the exact method in which it is thoroughly anticpated to occur, with no real chance of it reaching the target, strikes me as something done simply for show - to provoke a reaction and attention.

And that sort of motivation is unlikely to be political in origin, IMHO.

This is someone engaging in some “fun” (to them) and thoroughly enjoying the reaction they are getting. Because we give it to people like that every fucking time. On a silver platter and ask for more.

On edit: I’m not that “smart”. I used to be smart. These days, not so much.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:30 PM

24. I didn't say Soros did. I said he and CNN care about their employees, who aren't the S.S.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #24)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:32 PM

25. Well, this device wasn't going to hurt anyone.

And I think that was obvious to whomever put it on the lunch room table for a picture.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:37 PM

26. So? It demonstrated that they could get a device like this through the mail or the courier service

(I just heard a courier service was used in at least one case). Next time it could be workable.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #26)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:46 PM

33. Well, yeah


Amazon.com demontrates the same thing a zillion times a day.

Put stuff in a package with an address and postage on it, and it’ll go where you send it.

It wasn’t taken seriously by whomever stuck around to take that picture.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #33)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 07:07 PM

35. Maybe you don't remember, but a number of years ago they put limits

Last edited Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:09 PM - Edit history (2)

on the size of packages that could be dropped in the mail with stamps affixed (not processed at the desk), which was supposed to help reduce the chance of bombs going through the mail.

There goes that theory.

On update: the newscasters on CNN were clearly shaken by the explosive-containing package, and the message sent to all the workers at CNN. As Cuomo said, "It was someone who wanted us to know: I can reach out and touch you if I want to."

And now, tonight, the President is blaming the media for making people mad at them.

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22218/kit1_014.html

13-ounce Mail: A Reminder for Postal Service Employees

All mail that weighs over 13 ounces and that uses only postage stamps as postage (this includes pre-paid Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes and Envelopes) must be presented to an employee at a retail service counter at a Post Office. This is part of ongoing security measures established by the Postal Service, in cooperation with other government agencies, to keep the public, customers, employees, and the mail safe.

Customers may use a convenient online postage appli­cation or generate postage on an Automated Postal Center® (APC®) if they wish to mail items that weigh more than 13 ounces. Online postage applications include the Postal Service’s Click-N-Ship service available at www.usps.com and PC Postage from an authorized USPS postage vendor. Customers may deposit items with online and electronic postage in Postal Service collection boxes or Post Office lobby mail slots, or give them to their USPS letter carrier. Alternate places customers can mail items are at contract postal units and USPS Approved Shipper loca­tions.

Customers who are unable to use one of the above methods to prepare and affix postage must present items weighing more than 13 ounces to a Postal Service employee at a Post Office retail service counter. Business customers who use postage meters may continue to use meter postage for packages of any weight and mailing method.

Decals have been placed on USPS collection boxes to indicate that deposit of stamped mail over 13 ounces is prohibited in collection boxes and any such mail will be returned to sender.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #35)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:09 PM

39. That's going to be really effective.

Decals have been placed on USPS collection boxes to indicate that deposit of stamped mail over 13 ounces is prohibited in collection boxes and any such mail will be returned to sender.


That's going to be really effective.

Darn, my bomb weighs too much. Can't mail drop it in the mailbox Oh, wait. If the package weighs too much it will be returned to sender. Wait! I'll make the "sender," my secondary target.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #39)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:20 PM

40. Which is what happened . . . Debbie Wasserman Shulz was listed as the sender,

and the bomb addressed to Eric Holder was returned to her.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #40)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 10:25 PM

47. That was the reason I set out that scenario.

It seemed you were suggesting the rules would be a barrier, when the rules limiting size have no effect on anyone actually being able to send a package more than 13 ounces through the mail. I was pointing that out. Perhaps a bit too obliquely.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #47)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 10:48 PM

48. It was the Post Office who said the rules would be a barrier, years ago.

Maybe they were trying to convince people. It did send people like ME into the post office when I had a larger package, but obviously it doesn't stop the people who SHOULD be stopped.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:13 PM

2. It's 11:15.



I couldn't tell what that contraption was from the fuzzy pictures I witnessed this morning/early afternoon. Neither could at least one reporter.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:20 PM

4. So what you're saying is that Trump himself sent it?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:29 PM

8. That particular clock has a 24 hour cycle.




If it was an alarm clock (and as noted above, it isn't) and if the alarm was set to trigger a device by its alarm, it would detonate somwhere in the postal system. It would take longer than 24 hours to deliver it. And our boy would have to possess the smarts necessary to make the device explode on probably a +5V trigger. And something tells me this mouth breather isn't smart enough to pour piss out of a boot with the directions printed on the heel.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:57 PM

17. With ten gauge wires...


Those fat wires are not electrically connected to anything in that clock.

And, that clock probably uses a 1.5v coin battery (as indicated by the battery hatch) which, at best, you’d need to connect to something else that is going to switch a different battery to blow you blasting cap or heat your nichrome wire.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:42 PM

12. The point of terrorism is to strike terror into people's hearts. Which I believe they did. nt

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:49 PM

13. ...


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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:54 PM

15. "fairly insignificant"?

You're soon to be relatively famous.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:59 PM

18. I think it is obvious to many, many people


“What is a clock doing on a mail bomb?” is kind of an obvious question.

That model clock is literally something like the third google result for cheap dashboard clock.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:02 PM

20. Ahh- I was just goofing.

You're one of the best here.
An old restaurant buddy gave me an ice maker with that sticker on it.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 05:56 PM

16. hmm... i was wondering the same thing......

first i was wondering how we got so lucky that NONE of them detonated.... then when i looked at the clock i thought "How can you know the precise time when it would be opened by the recipient?"

knowing now that the clock didn't even have an alarm function, it clearly served no purpose, at least as far as being used as a detonator.

This seems to me to be a very deliberate attempt to terrorize people for sure, but not necessarily kill (note that i'm not saying that the sender is innocent of attempted murder. maybe he/she didn't want the bomb to explode but they DID send explosive material through the mail which still could have killed people if it had been set off somehow accidentally. The terrorist SHOULD be charged with a count of some sort of negligence putting life at risk for EACH package and NEVER see the light of day again).

Even if you were just a shitty bomb maker you wouldn't attach a part that doesn't actually do anything.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:02 PM

22. Very odd

If that is one of the devices

If you wanted to send a simple threat you could send a piece of paper written in red crayon that says this is a bomb boom you're dead, but that's not going to get very much attention.

On the other hand sending an inert device that contains even a small amount of explosive material shows that it could been a bomb however you are guaranteed there is absolutely no chance of anyone being harmed depending of course on what the explosive material is. In that case you are guaranteed to get a lot of Nationwide attention

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:38 PM

27. This makes sense to me. n/t

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:41 PM

31. perhaps meant to imply it's only a matter of time before they send an exploding bomb?

I dunno, maybe the bomb-making was contracted out, whoever actually made them didn't want to blow anyone up, and the terrorist(s) is so stupid he looked at that thing and thought "yeah! that looks just like in the movies!!" and thought he was going to be a hero of the alt-right once they'd killed all the main secret chiefs of the liberal Illuminati or whatever. I can see it. Like, "yeah Jim, here's your bombs (fucking dumbass...)"

Or maybe the bombmaker was kidnapped, and forced to make these at gunpoint, but again didn't want to actually do any harm.

This all seems consistent with the kind of thinking that would lead a person to go to a pizza place with an assault rifle to rescue kids from the non-existent basement....

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Response to anarch (Reply #31)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:28 PM

43. It could be someone with some sort of mental health issues

You just need to go on youtube and search for "qanon" or pizzagate to find various degrees of insanity. Some of those people are clearly not based in any reality, and I could see someone like in that state of mind building some nonsensical device that looks like bomb thinking that it is a bomb. I've been around a few people with schizophrenia and that does't seem outside the realm of possibility to me. Could see their mental illness and the toxic environment created by Trump colliding to cause them to do this.

Another possibility I think might explain non-functional and almost parody-like nature is that it's just an uber level troll by sociopath who is cracking up over the fact his goofy "bombs" are getting so much attention. Which may or may not have other political motivates (terrorize democrats or whatever)

But we also live in Trumpian Times and the Trump cultists are really really stupid and awful people. I won't be surprised either if it turns out it was one of them thinking this was actually a good way for them to make a point and win political points.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:40 PM

28. It is weird. I can think of a few possibilities.

One possibility is that the "bombs" were a deliberate hodgepodge of things that wouldn't work (like the non-alarm clock) and things that could cause harm (like the explosives), but not to the intended recipients.

The other possibility is that the bomb maker has cognition impairment profound enough to add a non-functional clock "detonator" to a package that wouldn't require it, but just functional enough to put together the items and mail them. Dementia? Psychosis?

I lean toward the latter explanation. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this was done by an older white male suffering from moderate dementia. Somebody who watches a lot of Fox News and decided to "do something" but couldn't put all the pieces together.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:41 PM

29. So I suppose the perp intended to scare but not to kill,

and maybe they thought that if they just terrorized without actually killing or injuring anybody, they wouldn't be punished severely (but they will be) if they were caught (which they will be). It really makes no sense to attach a clock to a mail bomb, even if the bomb actually had explosive components.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:41 PM

30. Case closed. I guess we don't even need the FBI to get involved? Give us a break, Mr. CSI.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 06:45 PM

32. 'show' is enough when your trying to blow up a couple of former presidents

i'll be the FBI treats you the same if it's show or tell

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 07:06 PM

34. I agree that it was more of a statement than an actual attempt.

Just because they sent so many of them out and not a single one of them blew up.

When people send out "anthrax" or "ricin" it's likely not real, too.

I still think the guy is a crazy right winger like the Austin serial bomber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_serial_bombings

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 07:50 PM

36. I totally agree.

But some people just want it to be more than it is. That I don't understand.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 08:04 PM

37. The fact is that the bombs have had their desired effect

It really doesn't matter that some nameless schmoe could have been blown to bits or if the bombs were ridiculously designed. This story has made headlines around the world. That alone makes this attempt at terror successful in a broader sense.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 08:44 PM

38. One of the "terror" aspects of this--

Is exactly that. Some staffer goes to the mailbox, opens it, gets exploded.

That's part of the point of it-- to terrorize everyone, including, of course, post office workers.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:21 PM

41. FBI bomb expert on TV just now said the timer was probably a safe-arm device, not

a timer set to trigger detonation since that would not be a characteristic of a mail bomb. The safe-arm timer was intended to prevent the bomb from detonating for a period of time while the bomber was handling it and before he could mail it; the actual triggering mechanism/event was probably the opening of the envelope.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #41)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:38 PM

44. Why not use something smaller and more fitting for that purpose?

The back of the timer doesn't seem to be removed. It looks like it's just taped on there. Did the FBI person address that at all?

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Response to xor (Reply #44)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:42 PM

45. Haven't a clue; I know only what the bomb expert said. He didn't get into detail

about how the thing actually worked, and of course he hasn't been able to see anything except the photograph. Maybe the bomber figured it was easier to just tape the thing on. There might be a wire out of the back of it that doesn't show in the photo.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #41)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:45 PM

46. Well, these devices have a 100% safety record

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2018, 09:22 PM

42. you got this from a one dimensional picture?

 

...so you're giving credence to the hoax alibi the right wing is hilariously trying to promote today.

This device was potentially deadly and the act of a terrorist.




I'll wait for the folks who actually have the devices in hand for analysis of their potential for actual harm. So far, no one involved closely with the investigation have said anything about the bombs being built 'for show.'

Where are the claims of responsibility? Where's the manifesto, the statement of intent or grievance?

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