By Miriam Raftery
October 26, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The FBI today announced the arrest of Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man suspected of sending at least 14 pipe bombs that targeted former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as other prominent Democrats, a CNN commentator and critics of President Donald Trump.
Sayoc, a Republican, attended rallies held by Trump at which Trump vilified Democrats and the media. Rally images show him wearing a red Make America Great hat.
Sayoc has a criminal record that includes making a prior bomb threat in 2002, theft and sale of illegal steroids.
Kicked out by his parents, he was living in his van plastered with pro-Trump, anti-liberal stickers and messages critical of CNN, the network reports.
His social media accounts included posts vilifying Democrats including those targeted with bombs. His troubled past includes a bankruptcy and foreclosure, as well as a failed business record.
FBI director Christopher Wray, in a press conference today, revealed how an FBI lab analysis uncovered a fingerprint from an envelope containing an IED that had been sent to Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
“We have confirmed this fingerprint is that of Cesar Sayoc. There is also a possible DNA connection between samples collected from pieces of two different IEDs, mailed in separate envelopes, and a sample previously collected from Sayoc in connection with an earlier arrest in Florida,” said Wray.
Others targeted with explosive packages include former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, who has called form impeachment of Trump, liberal funder George Soros, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and actor Robert DeNiro, a prominent Trump critic.
Wray warned that other packages could still be in transit.
Trump has denounced the bomber, but has continued to vilify Democrats, media and critics, leading to criticisms that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric incited the bomber to violence. On Thursday, over 200 journalists condemned Trump's “sustained pattern” of attacks describing his behavior as “un-American and utterly unlawful and unseemly for the President of the United States and leader of the free world." The letter adds, "Trump's condonining of political violence is part of a sustained attack on a free press--which includes labeling any reportage he doesn't like as "fake news" and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to punish from press briefs and events."