Explosive devices were sent to five political leaders from the Democratic Party in the U.S. and one to international news organisation CNN’s office in New York. This just a day after a bomb of a similar make – “a pipe bomb” was found at the home of liberal philanthropist and financier George Soros in the suburbs of New York City.
CNN's New York office was evacuated on Wednesday morning after the suspected bomb was sent to their mailroom.
The common theme in the targeting of those who received these bombs are – they all have found repeated mention in U.S. President Donald Trump’s speeches, during his presidential election rallies and now recently in election speeches for U.S. midterm elections.
Trump has repeatedly called for Hillary Clinton to be “locked up” for her use of a private server for her official emails during her time as Secretary of State, while he has claimed that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and also criticised George Soros’s philanthropic work to help refugees and asylum seekers.
This commonality was pointed outright by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who decried the attempted attacks as "an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country".
"To all public officials, to all partisan affiliations - don't encourage violence, don't encourage hatred, don't encourage attacks on media you can disagree but you have to show respect."
In what was obviously an attempt at getting a handle on the situation as those targeted are the top political leaders of the Democratic Party – the Obamas, the Clintons and two Democratic Party legislators, Donald Trump made a statement within a few hours of this development.
Speaking at the White House Trump said that he has been briefed by the FBI and "a major federal investigation is now under way".
"The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority," he said.
"In these times we just have to unify. We need to come together and send one very clear unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence of any kind have no place in America."
But the almost generic nature of Trump’s statement was criticised. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker criticised the president and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," he said.
"The president, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far they have shown no comprehension of that."
The president has repeatedly called journalists the "enemy of the people".
Soon after, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders condemned the "attempted violent attacks" against the public figures. In a follow-up tweet, she added that the White House condemnation "certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants".
But, the fact remains that the ascendancy of Trump in U.S.’s political scene has brought about political polarisation to the extent that there are very few politicians on the left or the right who now occupy the middle ground in the U.S. The Republican Party has increasingly become the party of Donald Trump and the last two years has seen the rise of white supremacists, increasing racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Even news media has taken sides with Fox News now an unofficial platform for Trump’s policies while CNN is seen as pro-left.