Bomb Left in Mailbox of George Soros

A bomb was discovered on Monday in the mailbox of the New York home of philanthropist George Soros, reported the New York Times. No one was injured.

640px-George Soros - Festival Economia 2012 02George Soros (Niccolò Caranti) “An employee of the residence opened the package, revealing what appeared to be an explosive device," the police department of the New York suburb of Bedford told the BBC. 

The incident occurred at around 15:45 local time. Soros was not at home. The bomb was “proactively detonated” by a bomb squad before it could explode.

“We are conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY.  There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time,” wrote the FBI on Twitter. 

Soros, a billionaire and a philanthropist, has become a major target of right-wing groups in both the US and in Hungary, his country of birth, over the past years. 

Part of this ire stems from his philanthropy in support of liberal causes. He is a major donor to Central European University, in Budapest. He has given over US$32 billion to Open Societies Foundations, a pro-democracy charity he founded that gives grants to a variety of organizations worldwide--among them OCCRP. 

The president of the Ford Foundation this summer called Open Societies Foundations the most influential foundation in the world in the past few decades. 

“There is no part of the world that they have not been. Their footprint is deeper, wider and more impactful than any other social justice foundation in the world,” said Darren Walker.

Soros has also become the focus of a slew of right-wing conspiracy theories, many of them anti-Semitic, that have been given voice by politicians and media over the past years.

While fomenting hatred of Soros has long been a tactic of Hungary’s autocratic leader Victor Orban, conspiracy theories about Soros have been given increasing voice by the right wing in the US. 

President Donald Trump alleged several weeks ago in a tweet that Soros was behind demonstrators protesting his nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation process was tarred with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

A recent campaign poster in Florida showed Soros as a puppet master controlling a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, a depiction that echoes centuries-old anti-Semitic tropes. 

Most recently, Florida Republican Congressman Mark Gaetz alleged that Soros had offered cash to members of a caravan of some 7,000 migrants heading toward the US. 

Gaetz said Soros and US NGOs were paying them to “storm the US border @ election time.”

Open Societies Foundations has denied any involvement in the caravan. Claims that migrants received cash have been debunked. Humanitarian organizations say they are fleeing “hunger and death.”