After an extensive search, the “infernal machine” was found near a first class gangway. The device, likely planted by a Mafia gang that had a grudge against British shippers, contained 100 pounds of dynamite and a timed fuse. It held enough explosive power to rip a sizeable hole into Umbria’s hull and to kill scores of innocent people. Yet the bomb also lacked a critical component—a detonation cap. This fact lead to speculation that the device was actually intended as a warning message to Cunard, not a direct threat to lives. On the other hand, the bomb’s builder or planter may have simply made a mistake.
The letter also stated that the bomb was originally designed to detonate onboard Oceanic (1899), but that the bombers decided to change their target because of the large number of women and children that would likely be on the White Star liner.
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