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Explosive device sent to CNN featured parody ISIS flag, 'Get 'Er Done' inscription

The manila envelopes had a bogus return address for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat.
A suspected explosive device received at the CNN bureau in New York City on Wednesday.AFP - Getty Images
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By Ben Collins

An image on the explosive device sent to former CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday appears to be a parody of an ISIS flag taken from a meme that has been circulating on right-wing corners of the internet since 2014.

The print-out appears to show a parody flag that replaces Arabic characters with the silhouette of three women in high heels, and a middle inscription reading “Get ‘Er Done” — which is the catchphrase of stand-up comedian Larry the Cable Guy.

The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay first noted that an image that appeared inside the explosive package sent to CNN’s TimeWarner building and addressed to Brennan bore a striking similarity to the black-and-white flag of the terror group.

A senior law enforcement official said that the image contained on the Brennan device that appears to be an ISIS flag is in fact a mocking parody of it. The official confirmed that the words “Get ‘Er Done” were on the device.

The “Get ‘Er Done” flag was originally created in 2014 by the right-wing parody site World News Bureau, for an article titled “ISIS Vows Retribution for Counterfeit Flags.” It has since been shared as a meme on right-wing websites and forums.

World News Bureau is run by a man claiming to be from Scottsdale, Arizona, who goes by the name Scooter Van Neuter and also runs the parody news site BigHairyNews.com. Van Neuter is a frequent commenter on right-wing websites like Breitbart and The Daily Caller, and his account was permanently suspended from Twitter in 2017.

World News Bureau frequently posts satirical news articles along with Photoshopped images. Its most recent article, which jokingly claimed the city of Baltimore won this year’s “Liberal Utopia Award” for “breathtaking mismanagement,” was accompanied by a Photoshopped picture of the trophy.

Van Neuter, the proprietor of the site, did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment. His account on Disqus, a commenting platform, has been active on both political and sports forums over the past two days.

The explosive device also appears to have a picture of a face next to the fake ISIS flag. The identity of the person in that picture is still unknown.

Pipe bombs were sent this week to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Earlier this week, an explosive device was found in the mailbox of liberal billionaire George Soros at his home in upstate New York.

The manila envelopes that contained the explosive devices listed a bogus return address for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida.

The bomb package sent to Holder, which listed the wrong address for him, was mailed to Wasserman Schultz instead.

CORRECTION (Oct. 25, 2018, 9:55 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated in a headline and in the text the status of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. She is still in Congress and seeking re-election next month; she is not a former congresswoman.

Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst contributed.
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