After mailing homemade bombs former president Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, George Soros, Robert De Niro and several other critics of President Donald Trump, a Florida man in his mid-50s has been arrested.
Cesar Sayoc, Jr., 56, was arrested at around 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, the New York Times reports, at an AutoZone shop about 20 miles from his home.
Sayoc, Jr. had sent the explosive devices to at least a dozen people in three different states.
Among those targeted:
- Former President Barack Obama
- Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Representative Maxine Waters of California
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder
- Former C.I.A. director John O. Brennan
- Former national intelligence chief James Clapper
- Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
- Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
- Robert De Niro, a popular actor
- George Soros, a wealthy Democratic donor
Biden and Waters were sent two packages, each.
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Sayoc, Jr. faces federal charges for disseminating the bombs, which were packaged in plain manila envelopes and bubble wrap, though none of them reached their intended targets. According to CNBC, the packages were all likely sent through the U.S. Postal Service, and bore a return address label to the misspelled name of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of southern Florida.
“This is definitely domestic terrorism,” Clapper said on CNN. “Anyone who has in any way been a critic, publicly been a critic of President Trump, needs to be on an extra alert.”
The first device was discovered on Monday, en route to billionaire philanthropist George Soros. None of the devices have exploded, and may not even be set up to do so.
“It just doesn’t look like the signature of an experienced bomb maker, somebody that knew what they were doing,” said CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI supervisory special agent James Gagliano.
After the bombs sent to Biden were discovered, the former Vice President pleaded for a return to sanity.
“Turn off this hate machine,” he said.
In response to the threats, President Trump, at a rally in Mosinee, Wisc., said, “My highest duty as you know as president is to keep America safe.”
Trump condemned the acts of terrorism, calling for “all sides to come together in peace and harmony.”
According to USA Today, Sayoc, Jr. was born in Brooklyn but moved to South Florida as a child, where he is a registered Republican. He has been arrested for theft and drug offenses multiple times since 1991. Sayoc, Jr’s most recent conviction was for retail theft in 2015.
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.