Former Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer Tom Sauer authored a viral Twitter thread concerning the potentially explosive packages addressed to prominent Democrats on Wednesday. According to Sauer, it's extremely likely that the packages were meant to be intercepted and cause political damage, as opposed to actual attempts to harm targets.
Sauer, whose identity has been verified to The Daily Wire, used his expertise to analyze an image of a package addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, which was first obtained by CNN. The former bomb disposal officer, who emphasized that he only spoke on behalf of himself, told The Daily Wire that the makeup of the device appears to indicate that it was intended to be intercepted. "It's highly, highly unlikely that this was a genuine attempt," he explained. "This is like holding up a bank with a toy gun."
In his viral thread, Sauer made note of some of the red flags that support his assessment.
"A few observations from a former bomb disposal officer (i.e. Me)," started the former officer. "Proper pipe bombs don't have wires connected to both ends. That's dumb."
Sauer also noted that the size and setup of the device struck him as odd. "You can find timers / remote control receivers WAY smaller than whatever that white box is. A proper timer would best be stored inside the pipe, making it fully encapsulated. That thing is just silly looking," he wrote.
"Whoever made that wanted it to be painfully obvious to anyone and everyone that it's a 'bomb,'" he explained. "This is nearly the same as a bundle of road flares wrapped together with an old-timey alarm clock ticking away."
When asked by The Daily Wire about the parody ISIS flag sticker reportedly identified on the package, Sauer said this seems to be yet another signal that the package was meant to be intercepted to "scare the hell out of people" and not actually cause damage. "That's going to get flagged right away," he said.
"It reeks of amateur hour," said Sauer, with regard to new reports on "shards of glass" and "Sulphur" being identified within the device. "Glass is fairly light," he explained. Typically you'd find metal or rocks as the device would be heavier and thus more damaging, though glass "is no picnic."
"I would be very surprised — and I could be wrong because I do not have the same information as the feds — that there are any actual explosives in them," added Sauer. Sulphur on its own might "burn a little" but "is not truly an explosive, unless it’s mixed with an oxidizer like potassium nitrate or potassium chlorate."
"Hoax devices," as these appear to be, are far more common than real attempts, he explained in the thread. "In which case, we should ask ourselves what the motives of the 'bomber' are and 'who benefits?' Go ahead. Think deeply and critically."
It appears that those who confiscated the device had a similar take on the device as Sauer. The photo suggests that there was no render safe procedure (RSP) done to the device, though, he noted, it could be possible that such a precaution was done after the photo was taken.
Sauer reemphasized that this seems highly likely that this is a hoax device to "scare" people and cause some sort of psychological/political damage, though he ball-parked a slim 1/100 shot that this was the work of a truly incompetent person who did intend harm.
"What makes a bomb a bomb?" he asked. "Bombs actually blow up."
"Look, this person put in some effort and some wherewithal, so you'd think they would be able to make a functioning device if that was their goal," he told The Daily Wire.
Sauer said he could not rule out the idea that this was done by someone on the Right, either. Noting the intended targets, Sauer said they seem to be individuals a "MAGA guy" might hate. "Why wasn't Bernie Sanders targeted?" he asked, noting that Sanders has a populist feel as President Donald Trump does.