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Explosive Device Found In George Soros's Westchester Mailbox

Mailboxes stand outside the entrance to a house owned by philanthropist George Soros in Katonah, NY
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Mailboxes stand outside the entrance to a house owned by philanthropist George Soros in Katonah, NY Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

An explosive device was reportedly recovered at the Westchester County home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and favorite boogyman of far-right conspiracists in the White House and elsewhere.

The New York Times reports that the explosive was found in Soros's mailbox outside his home in Katonah, a small hamlet of Bedford, about 50 miles north of New York City. The device was retrieved from the mailbox by a staffer, who informed the Bedford Police Department about the suspicious package at about 3:45 p.m. on Monday, according to authorities.

Federal and state police then "proactively detonated" the bomb, and the FBI announced an investigation into the area surrounding the residence. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official had confirmed that "the components were there for an explosive device" and it was "not a hoax device." Soros was reportedly not home when the package was discovered.

While Soros has long been an exaggerated target for the right, the attacks against the 88-year-old Hungarian Holocaust survivor have seemed to intensify under a president who frequently engages and spreads Soros-linked conspiracy theories.

During a campaign rally just last week, Trump riffed on a Florida Congressman's lie that Soros is bankrolling a caravan of migrants, telling a crowd in Montana, "A lot of money has been passing to people...It didn't just happen." Earlier this month, Trump smeared the sexual assault survivors who confronted Republican senators over their support for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination as "elevator screamers" who were "paid for by Soros."

Elsewhere in the fever swamps, the conservative party's rank-and-file supporters have eagerly made the short jump to explicit anti-semitism and threats of violence, often echoing the language of Infowars—a White House-credentialed media outlet—which dubbed Soros a leader of the "Jewish mafia." Already, the conspiracy website is asking whether the explosive might be part of a "false flag" operation to blame "patriots" ahead of the midterms.

Soros, a former hedge fund manager, has given at least $18 billion to democracy and human rights efforts worldwide, according to the Times. He has said that he is opposed to the "extreme left," and that the stated goal of his activism is a "return to bipartisanship."

Despite this, plenty of mainstream Republicans have also seized on the specter of Soros. While campaigning in 2016, GOP Rep. John Faso, whose district lies just north of Bedford, blasted Zephyr Teachout's supposed "ties to billionaire leftist George Soros and his complex web of left wing interest groups." (Faso did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether he regrets the language.)

"Language is powerful. As leaders with platforms, spreading mistruths with the goal of generating suspicion or hate towards individuals or groups is profoundly irresponsible," said Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet. "We must take up the mantle of establishing peace. That happens with the positive presence of justice."

UPDATE: Federal investigators are describing the device as a pipe bomb, which they say was about six inches long and filled with explosive powder, according to the Times. Law enforcement officials believe the pipe bomb was not transported through the Post Office, and was likely hand-delivered to the mailbox. FBI agents are currently canvassing the area for surveillance cameras. They say that the would-be bomber's motivation is still unclear.

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