Why The Nashville Bombing Doesn’t Add Up

By Michael Todd

In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee 25 December 2020. . Photo: AFP / Handout/Nashville Fire Department

   In a press conference preceding the release of the Nashville Bombing police report, the FBI stated that Anthony Quinn Warner, who authorities say carried out the bombing in downtown Nashville, “was not someone that was identified as a person of interest for the bureau.” Yet newly released information seems to contradict that statement. According to documents obtained by The Tennessean, on Aug. 21, 2019, Warner’s girlfriend at the time contacted the FBI and told them he was building bombs in an RV at his residence. That simple bit of information could explain why the FBI was so quick to dismiss this case as a terrorist act, and Warner not being identified as a person of interest.

   So what was Warner’s motivation for the bombing? First, the way the bombing was carried out is atypical of someone wishing to commit suicide and cause massive destruction.  It’s also evident that he didn’t want to kill anyone and tried to minimize the loss of life. Why commit such a terrible act in the middle of a city on Christmas day in the morning, reducing your audience by warning everyone?  Why blow up downtown Nashville, killing yourself in the process without leaving a suicide note? Clearly, there is more to this story than we are being led to believe.  

   What is known is that in the period leading up to the bombing, Warner actively changed his life in ways consistent with someone knowing they would not return.   He gave away his car and transferred his longtime home in Nashville to a California woman. Conversely, Rick Laude, one of Warner’s neighbors, stated, “Nothing about this guy raised any red flags.”

   The blast heavily damaged the power supply to the AT&T building, disrupting internet and phone services for its clients throughout Tennessee and surrounding states.  The AT&T building was most likely the target, but Warner’s motivations are unclear. Why have law enforcement and political leaders in Tennessee been so quick to dismiss the bombing as an act of terrorism? Domestic terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.

   One of the most glaring indicators that something is amiss in the story being told to the public is who showed up right after the bombing occurred. Usually, one of the first agencies to respond to a bombing or explosion is the ATF and their National Response Team, composed of veteran special agents having post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise. Once their investigation occurs, the FBI is called in if it is suspected of being a terrorist act. The FBI is first to respond if they know of a terroristic action before its set to occur, they have intel of a terrorist attack at a specific time and place, or a covert operation with informants where they can successfully intercept a criminal or terroristic act. In Nashville, the FBI was first to respond, signaling they possibly knew what would happen ahead of time.

   Sometimes the most straightforward explanation to a problem is the correct answer, like saying Anthony Warner was a disturbed man wanting the world to witness him commit suicide. But occasionally, the simplest explanation is just a part of the story. Many questions need to be answered, and it seems those in authority are not going to provide those answers.  Anthony Warner might have been a deranged and despondent individual that had given up on life, but that explanation is too easy. Warner chose the bombing location for a reason, and his objective was to destroy the AT&T transmission facility, which is a vital part of our communication infrastructure. If anything, the Nashville bombing needs to be a sobering reminder of just how vulnerable our communication system is to attack.

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