Austin-Bound Package Explodes at FedEx Facility

A package exploded in San Antonio overnight. It was believed bound for Austin. It would be the fifth in a spree of bombings in the city this month.

WaPo (“Package believed to be bound for Austin explodes at Texas FedEx facility, police say“):

A package believed to be bound for Austin exploded at a Texas FedEx facility overnight, law enforcement officials said early Tuesday.

The explosion occurred at a facility in Schertz, Tex., just northeast of San Antonio sometime around 1 a.m., said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee.

ATF spokeswoman Nicole Strong said that early indications are that no one was injured.

A law enforcement source said that police are investigating whether the explosion was related to the other four in Austin, and that it “is definitely a concern of ours.”

The incident happened as investigators scrambled for clues at the scene of another mysterious explosion Sunday in Austin, the fourth in a string of attacks in the city this month. Authorities believe they are the work of a sophisticated “serial bomber” who has been terrorizing Austin with increasingly complex devices.

Parcel bombs have been used before in apparent terrorist-linked plots attempting to use delivery services such as FedEx. In 2010, two packages containing plastic explosives and a detonating mechanism were found during transit on two cargo flights bound for the United States. One was discovered in Dubai, and the other at East Midlands Airport in Britain. The explosive devices — hidden in printer cartridges — were originally shipped from Yemen. Later, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility.

Investigators in Texas have not linked the blasts there to any particular individual or organization.

This is certainly looking more like terrorism but there’s no publicly-available information on what’s motivating the attacks. One presumes that they are indeed connected but we don’t know that for certain.

FILED UNDER: Crime,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    I remain surprised and somewhat disheartened how little attention, on a relative scale, this situation has garnered. I can’t help but wonder how much of that is due to the demographics of the victims so far…

    I started seeing some reports on twitter after the second bombing but exclusively from African-American activists.




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  2. James Joyner says:

    @SKI: Honestly, I blame Trump. That is, we’re in a news cycle where even things like the firing of the Secretary of State doesn’t capture the attention for more than a few hours because there’s always something new.




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  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @SKI:

    I keep seeing the claims on social media that these bombings aren’t getting more coverage. Perhaps its because I don’t watch TV, but that has not been my experience. WaPo has had this on their front page every day for the last week, often at the top of the page. I’ve seen front page reports covering these bombings on CNN, NBC News, and NYTimes.

    At least in print media, these bombings are receiving attention somewhere between “Hillary Clinton has said something stupid” and “Natural disaster or mass shooting.”




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  4. KM says:

    @SKI :

    That and the relatively low number of victims. When people think “bomb” they think dozens or hundreds of fatalities and this case (thankfully) doesn’t have that. Kinda hard to hype up the terror when the victim count is low in a world where mass shootings that rack up dozens happen almost weekly. Americans seem to have become inured to a lot of this – there’s a meh feeling of “only 5 or so? that’s it?” that’s really sad if you think about it.




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  5. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    That’s been my experience as well. I don’t watch tv either, but the bombings seem extensively covered in print and digitally.




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  6. SKI says:

    In the last few days there has been lots of coverage, no argument. Early on, it was a different story.

    And the police spent the time between the first bombing on the 2nd and the dual bombings on the 12th downplaying the risks, suggesting that it may have been self-inflicted and/or cartel related (no facts to support either BTW), and not warning the public to be aware of suspicious packages.




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  7. Matt says:

    @SKI: Well at least now they are… When they do find the person it’ll probably be an older white guy with a chip on his shoulder with good odds of it being race related.




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