Here is an excerpt from Mark Reagan and Laura Martinez's article in the Valley Morning Star:
"Investigators say they believe a Brownsville family was intentionally targeted when a bomb exploded inside their home Friday morning and injured three of them. The morning blast at a home on Resaca Vista Drive critically injured a 5-year-old girl and her parents... Police say they have not been able to determine why the bomb was left at the home... Authorities declined to say whether the bombing was cartel related. 'The person or persons who had these devices delivered or delivered them knew what they were doing,' Rodriguez said. 'These were not simple devices... This was intended to cause mass destruction,' the chief added. 'This family or members of this family were targeted.'... The resulting blast blew the front door off the house and shattered the windows. It created a fire and left burn damage... The package contained four pipe-bomb-like devices, Rodriguez said, adding that he was being careful not to speculate because the investigation is ongoing. Only one detonated." Link to Full Article
Analysis: It's still too early to know anything for sure since the investigation is in its preliminary stages. However, I have to agree with the police chief in that this was a targeted hit, and not just some punks out to have a good time with a few pipe bombs. I'm very curious to find out (if the lab results are ever made public) what kind of explosive was used, and whether or not it matches other explosive devices used in attacks in Mexico. I also wonder if the other three devices were intended to detonate, or to send the message of "see how much worse this could have been if we wanted it to be."
I'm going to be a bit stereotypical here, but bear with me. There's a lot of video on the Internet of the house where the explosion occurred. The house where Juárez and Machado live is very nice, as is the entire neighborhood. If you've never been to Brownsville, much of the city is older and run-down. It has a very high Hispanic population, and the average income is relatively low compared to the rest of the country. We have no idea what kind of business Juárez was involved in; he may very well be a perfectly clean businessman with no ties to criminal activity whatsoever. However, the typical Mexican family in Brownsville cannot afford to live in a house like the one that was targeted in this bombing.
I'm not sure yet what to make of the family members not being cooperative with authorities. Maybe they're here illegally and are afraid of being deported, maybe they're involved with criminal activity, and maybe they're simply in shock and extremely concerned about the severe injuries their family members sustained.
I see so many reports of criminal activity happening in south Texas that my gut tells me are TCO-related, but either the news outlets don't follow up or the police don't make the details of the investigation public. This particular incident is extremely disturbing because I'm unaware of a TCO-connected targeted bombing happening anywhere on US soil. Certainly, it's never happened in Brownsville, as the police chief told the media. If this does turn out to be connected to TCO activity, how will it play out in the media? Will the story actually make the national news cycles? I imagine the "big guns" like CNN and FOX News are aware of this story, but holding off until any TCO connection can be confirmed or denied. How will the debate over the existence of border violence spillover be affected, if at all? Will it bring any doubters around to finally believing we have a problem with TCO members carrying out violent attacks within the US?
More to come, so stay tuned for updates in the next several days.
UPDATE 1/15/13: Unfortunately, even several days after the bombing, there isn't much to report. We know that fragments from the part of the package that detonated have been sent to an FBI lab to determine what was inside, and perhaps where it came from. We also now know that the box that contained the pipe bombs was a FedEx package. Still no word on how it arrived on Jesus Juárez's front door.
UPDATE 1/21/13: Looks like Stratfor got it wrong; turns out the package left for Jesus Juárez and Iviz Machada wasn't a FedEx package after all. Technically, the police don't know what kind of package it was because it exploded and left no identifiable parts, but FedEx said that while they were in the neighborhood that day making deliveries, they did not deliver any packages to that house that day. Machado spoke to investigators on the 16th, but this particular news story didn't mention what she said, other than provide demographic information. The bomb fragments are still being analyzed at the FBI lab, and the victims are still in no physical condition to provide detailed statements.
UPDATE 1/31/13: In this news update, Jesus Juárez's father said he was sleeping the morning of January 12th when he and other family members heard a loud noise. His son and granddaughter were on fire and his daughter-in-law were on the floor, and he helped put the flames out. He also said his son was on his way out of the house when he noticed the FedEx package on the doorstep, brought it inside and opened it. Another family member told police her boyfriend left the home the night before and did not see a package when he left.