Mysterious Bomb Suspect Identified
After a four-day nationwide search, authorities have arrested the suspect allegedly responsible for sending over a dozen of padded-mailers containing explosive materials to prominent Democratic politicians.
On Friday, the FBI detained Cesar Sayoc Jr., a 56-year-old native Floridian, in an Autozone parking lot in Plantation, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Authorities also recovered the suspect’s van, found plastered with pro-Trump decals and stickers.
The story first made the national headlines on Monday, Oct. 22, when a padded-mailer containing a mysterious device was delivered to billionaire and Democratic Party donor, George Soros, at his residence in Katonah, New York. The following day, another package en-route to Hillary Clinton’s residence in Chappaqua, New York, was intercepted by the Secret Service. Between Wednesday and Friday, suspected packages addressed to former President Obama and current senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) were recovered along with others.
With ongoing investigations, the Sayoc’s motive remains unclear. However, various social media accounts, believed to be belonging to the suspect, show him attending President Donald Trump’s rallies and being strongly critical of Democrats. Since Friday afternoon, Sayoc’s Facebook and Twitter accounts have been suspended.
The FBI held a press conference following Sayoc’s arrest. Christopher Wray, the bureau’s director, said that fingerprints, DNA identification, and cell-phone tracking helped direct authorities to locate Sayoc. Wray also cautioned that more packages may be out there.
The Justice Department also discussed the incident in its press conference on Friday. The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said, “This person appears to be partisan.” He also added, “We will not tolerate such lawlessness. Let this be a lesson to anyone, regardless of their political beliefs, that we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation and outright violence to further an agenda.”
During the press conference, Sessions said the department has charged Sayoc with five federal crimes for mailing fourteen explosive devices and sending threats towards former presidents. The suspect is expected to appear in his court hearing on Monday. If convicted and found guilty, Sayoc could spend up to 48 years in prison.
During the Black Leadership summit on Friday, President Trump condemned the acts, saying, “These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country.” Later in the afternoon, while preparing for his trip to North Carolina for a rally, President Trump told reporters that he had no intentions of labeling the bomb suspect targets, stating, “Uh, if they wanted me to. But I think we’ll probably pass.”