Stratfor Report Indicates Bombing Incident Not Cartel Related

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POSTED: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 11:54am

UPDATED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 8:06am

Not Cartel related, that's the lastest word regarding the package bomb explosion in Brownsville last week. A report, just released by Austin based intellegence agency Stratfor, suggests that the bomb that was delivered and exploded inside a home is not cartel related.

On Jan. 11, a package containing four pipe bombs partially detonated inside a residence in Brownsville, Texas, wounding a couple and their 5-year-old child. A commercial delivery truck dropped off the package the evening of Jan. 10. The father brought the package into the house the next morning, where the device detonated as he opened the parcel. Only one of the four devices detonated, suggesting flaws in the detonator or other explosive devices, but local law enforcement officials described the device as sophisticated. According to authorities, the family is uncooperative with investigators assigned to the case.

Suspicions that the attack was related to organized crime stem from the bombmaker's reported knowledge of explosives, the lack of cooperation from the victims and Brownsville's proximity to Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, a Gulf cartel-controlled town that experiences inter-cartel violence. However, an organized crime group delivering an improvised explosive device would be highly unusual, if not unprecedented, in Brownsville. When cartels want to execute a rival cartel member or even one of their own, they tend to use tactics that would warrant much less attention from law enforcement, such as cross-border kidnappings.
The unusual tactics and high visibility of the attack make it seem unlikely that the event is related to Mexican cartel violence, despite its location. In addition, conducting such a violent and high profile attack as the Jan. 11 explosion could harm drug trafficking operations, since it caused law enforcement to focus more intently on the area.

Authorities have not identified the culprit(s) responsible for the attack but are questioning the driver of the delivery truck. Stratfor will continue to monitor the situation for any indicators of the motive behind the Jan. 11 attack in Brownsville.

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