PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A package that blew up when a man opened it contained a homemade explosive, and police have video of the person who dropped it off, authorities said Thursday.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross cautioned that the person in the video might not necessarily be the one who manufactured the device that exploded when 60-year-old James Alden opened it Nov. 22 at his home in the city’s tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Alden assumed the package, which was dropped off Nov. 20, contained asthma inhalers.
Police believe the person in the video is male but said they can’t be completely certain. Still photos from the video show a person wearing what investigators described as an Elmer Fudd-type hat, with the flaps down, and a baseball cap underneath. The person’s age could range from late teens to early 30s.
Alden said this week that he’s still healing from shrapnel wounds to his face, chest and arms and faces additional surgeries to repair his badly damaged left hand.
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“I’m happy to be resting at home and feeling a little bit better,” he wrote on his YouCaring page.
The FBI, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Postal Inspectors are working with Philadelphia police to determine who put the bomb in the padded envelope.
The device is continuing to be analyzed, and ATF Special Agent Sam Rabadi said his agency has never seen one like it before on the East Coast.
Police believe Alden was specifically targeted because the package was addressed to him.
“Someone could have just left it blank, but they didn’t,” Ross said.
Police said Alden has seen the video and doesn’t recognize the person.
“The victim does not appear to know who would want to harm him,” Ross said.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the manufacturer of the explosive.