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In a Monday evening memo, CNN president Jeff Zucker assured his employees that they were not at risk after a criminal complaint released earlier in the day showed that an infantry soldier in the Army talked about bombing the network.
The soldier, Jarrett William Smith, was arrested and charged with distribution of information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction.
According to a criminal complaint made public Monday, Smith talked about bombing a “major American news network,” which was later reported to be CNN. He told a confidential source that the network could be targeted with a “large vehicle bomb.”
Smith also spoke about “killing members of the far left group, Antifa, as well as destroying nearby cell towers or local news station.”
Zucker acknowledged that CNN had been targeted in his memo to staff.
“I want to assure everyone that there was never any imminent threat to any CNN locations,” the exec said in the memo, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “We continue to actively monitor these issues on a daily basis and work closely with our security teams around the world and our partners in law enforcement.”
Zucker told employees that “security is our most important consideration.”
CNN had been targeted as recently as last year, when the FBI arrested Florida man Cesar Sayoc for mailing numerous pipe bombs to those he believed were critics of President Donald Trump, including the cable network. Sayoc was sentenced in August to 20 years in prison.
Last November, an Arkansas man, Benjamin Craig Matthews, was arrested after allegedly making dozens of calls to the network and making death threats to a reporter.
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