FBI Director Christopher Wray attempted to put to rest the growing right-wing theory that the bomb devices sent to prominent targets of Donald Trump were not real. According to CBS, the devices contain “energetic material” that can explode when exposed to heat or friction.
“Though we’re still analyzing these devices in our laboratory, these were not hoax devices,” said Wray.
According to Wray, 13 devices have been sent to prominent figures on the left and to CNN. Each device has 6 inches of PVC pipe, a clock, and wiring, along with an explosive material. Wray also revealed that FBI agents identified a possible DNA connection to the suspect and a fingerprint from the envelopes.
Wray’s comments came during a press conference discussing the arrest of Cesar Sayoc as a suspect for sending the bombs. The FBI director was careful to avoid speculating on Sayoc’s political motivation.
“We’re concerned about people committing violence under any motivation,” Wray said.
This week, a spate of right-wing commentators have argued that the devices are a hoax planted by people on the left in order to cast a bad light on conservatives.
“Here’s my bet… No one will be arrested for these alleged mail bombs. After dozens of college campus hoaxes by leftists, I don’t buy this super convenient turn of events.” said conservative commentator Kurt Schlichter.
Dinesh D’Souza has stated that he believes the bombs are not real. Commentator Candace Owens said that there is “zero chance” the packages were sent by a conservative and called the timing suspicious.
"These are not hoax devices," FBI Director Christopher Wray said after announcing that 13 improvised explosive devices were sent to individuals around the country https://t.co/acrCVdqa3i pic.twitter.com/CiNSCzlpXC
— CNN (@CNN) October 26, 2018
President Donald Trump has also cast doubt on the bombs, hinting that he believes the timing of the bomb threats is suspicious.
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Friday.
Despite Wray’s comments, people on the right continue to push conspiracy theories about the bombs. Radio host Bill Mitchell questioned the FBI director’s statement. Posters on fringe-right websites have begun pushing the theory that Sayoc was so easy to locate because he wanted to be caught, adding fuel to the idea that the mail bombs are a left-wing conspiracy.
Wray said that Sayoc faces five federal charges. The amateur bodybuilder has a criminal history that includes probation for a bomb threat, and used social media accounts to praise Trump and attack Democrats.