On Thursday, Dec. 22, 2010, the Swiss and Chilean embassies located on Rome were bombed. Luckily, no one was killed, although one person from each of the bombing sites was injured. The Swiss employee may lose one or both hands, and specific injuries suffered by the Chilean employee were not disclosed. Both were opening small, unmarked packages that later exploded in their hands.
While no single person or group has claimed responsibility, Roman police suspect one of the anarchist movements that recently launched other attacks. This incident now has all other Rome-based embassies on alert status, especially the Ukrainian, Estonian and Slovenian embassies, because they apparently received packages that were determined to be suspicious.
The First Ever US Bombing
On Sept. 16, 1920, a horse-drawn carriage that was left unattended on Wall Street in New York City was exploded using a TNT-based bomb that was inside the carriage. The materials used to explode the carriage consisted of 100 lbs. of dynamite and cast iron slugs. It would seem that the carriage explosion was aimed at one of the most respected homes at the time, which was occupied by the Morgan family; the same Morgan family of the J.P. Morgan & Chase banking firm known worldwide. The home was completely destroyed, as were other buildings that were close enough to the epicenter to feel the devastating blast. For three or four blocks further, homes and office buildings suffered devastating damage, including windows blown out, signs ripped off and other damage.
The bombing killed 35 people instantly and hundreds more suffered injuries. Later, four more died from those injuries. While no group or person claimed responsibility, local police suspected that either an anarchist terrorist group or a Bolshevist terrorist group were behind the attack. Ultimately, police leaned toward the former because of a note that the bombers left behind. It read, “Remember. We will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters!” This is similar to the bombings in Rome, since no one has yet claimed responsibility.
This first ever true terrorist attack against the United States ultimately garnered more attention than ever to the threat against the nation’s security. When Wall Street was attacked, it resulted in Congress asking for more funding to “counter the threat of Communists and Anarchists.” Essentially, Congress asked for better ways to secure the homeland and citizens.
In Rome, the British and Australian embassies are doing the same. Both have tightened security because of the bombings for fear that they will be targeted next. The fact that Greece was a target last month and that all the suspected bombs were parcel packages makes it more than likely that security will be even tighter than ever.
The Wall Street bombing could have been avoided. However, citizens were in a state of naiveté because things like the 1920 bombing simply did not happen in this nation at that time. The carriage carrying the bomb was unattended and, if noticed earlier, it might have been diverted. The situation in Rome could have also been avoided as well, had security monitored the packages better. With the history of suspicious parcel packages arriving in Greece and other locations, one would assume that security would have been tighter and that all embassies would have been on alert before this incident, not after. Had any of these things have happened after the parcel packages were discovered in Greece, the entire Rome situation may have been avoided completely.