ATF Agent: Philly Package Bomb Unlike Anything We've Seen

Jim Alden appears to have been targeted: cops
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2016 7:35 AM CST

(Newser) – It looked like one of the manila envelopes that sometimes arrive on Jim Alden's doorstep with asthma medication, but the moment he tried to open it, it exploded. Alden, 60, of Philadelphia suffered shrapnel wounds to his face and chest and lost portions of fingers on his left hand in the incident on Nov. 22, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Authorities now say they're looking for a person, likely of Asian descent, seen on surveillance video leaving the envelope addressed to Alden outside his door two days earlier, per Philly Voice. (Alden opened it upon returning from a weekend in NYC.) Authorities believe the suspect is male—though they aren’t convinced—in his late teens to early 30s, and was "intentionally trying to disguise his appearance," a detective says, noting the suspect wore a hat with ear flaps over a baseball cap.

A YouCaring page claims the envelope was "carefully designed" to look like the envelopes in which Alden receives medication. The page also notes Alden is openly gay and may have been targeted for that reason. But Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. notes "we really do not have a motive right now." Alden doesn't recognize the suspect and "does not appear to know who would want to harm him." Alden is now "resting at home and feeling a little bit better," but according to a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, he's lucky to be alive. It was a "destructive device" unlike anything he's ever seen "anywhere in this entire region, on the East Coast," the agent says. It "caused significant injury to the person and could have resulted in death." (Read more Philadelphia stories.)

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