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Archive for March 20th, 2018

Another Explosion in Austin Tuesday Night After 2 More Package Bombs Found in Central Texas

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Yet another explosion rattled Austin Tuesday night as hundreds of local and federal investigators continue their frantic search for a suspected serial bomber responsible for at least four attacks that have killed two people and injured four others since March 2.

The latest explosion comes on the same day that authorities were investigating the discovery of two package bombs at FedEx facilities in Austin and nearby Schertz.

At 8:10 p.m. Tuesday, Austin fire officials said the were “on scene at a reported package explosion” at a Goodwill store where a man in his 30s was seriously injured.

But about an hour later, the Austin Police Department said the explosion didn’t appear to be connected to the other bombings that have terrified the Texas capital.

“Items inside package was not a bomb, rather an incendiary device,” police tweeted. “At this time, we have no reason to believe this incident is related to previous package bombs.”

Investigators believe two package bombs found earlier in the day at two separate FedEx facilities were connected to the suspected serial bomber. The first package exploded early in the morning in Schertz, about an hour from Austin, and a second was found with an undetonated bomb later in the day in Austin.   

Update 10:40 p.m.: Police held a news conference to address the Goodwill explosion.

  • Package Bomb Explosion at FexEx Facility in Texas likely Linked to Austin Serial Bomber

    FedEx truck, via Wikipedia

    By Steve Neavling
    Ticklethewire.com

    A package bomb exploded at a FedEx Facility near San Antonio early this morning, drawing fears that it’s connected to the series of deadly blasts in Austin, Tex.

    The bomb, which authorities believe was destined for Austin. detonated shortly after midnight at the facility in Schertz.

    “It would be silly for us not to admit that we suspect it’s related” to four bombings in Austin this month, FBI San Antonio spokeswoman Michelle Lee told USA Today

    The package exploded at about 12:30 a.m. in the sorting area of the FedEx Ground distribution center.

    One person was injured and treated for minor injuries.

    The ATF and FBI were headed to the scene this morning.

    The blast comes after four package bombs exploded about 80 miles from Austin in the past month, killing two people and wounding four more.

    Authorities believe the bombs are connected but are unsure of a motive and do not have a suspect.

    On Tuesday, authorities said they were investigating whether the bombs were racially motivated because the victims have been black or Hispanic.

    FBI Tracked, Surveilled Black Lives Matter Protesters More Than Previously Disclosed

    Black Lives Matter poster on a window in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

    By Steve Neavling
    Ticklethewire.com

    The FBI surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters went much further than previously believed as agents tracked the movements of an activist and conducted surveillance of homes and cars of people believed to be tied to rallies in Ferguson, Missouri, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

    The documents from 2014 indicate the FBI trailed an activist flying from New York to Ferguson, where protests broke out following the shooting of an unarmed black man.

    Federal investigators gathered information from social media to profile and track activists. The FBI even sent informants and set up surveillance of antiracist activists.

    The heavily redacted records provide a rough snapshot into FBI activities surrounding the protests.

    A November 2014 report shows that an FBI agent alerted investigators that a protester was planning to travel from New York to Ferguson for a Thanksgiving Day protest. The activist’s name was redacted, but notes from investigators indicate they suspected the protester “had been arrested at a previous protest.” Another report suggests the FBI had compiled a dossier on the protester.

    The documents contradict the FBI’s earlier assertion that agents don’t police ideology and only target people believed to be planning violence, said Michael German, a former FBI agent and now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program.

    “This is clearly just tracking First Amendment activity and keeping this activity in an intelligence database,” said German, in a phone interview, referring to the FBI report about an individual’s plans to travel for a protest. “Even if you made the argument that it is about a propensity for violence, why isn’t there a discussion of that propensity? Instead they are discussing bond money, not detailing a criminal predicate or even a possibility of violence.”

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