Oct 26, 2018

What we know about the bomb suspect

Mugshot via Broward County Sheriff's Office

The man who's suspected of sending 13 pipe bombs to Democrats and other critics of President Trump has a lengthy criminal history and financial troubles, and "appears to be a partisan," according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Driving the news: At an afternoon press conference, Sessions said Cesar Sayoc faces five federal charges in connection with the mail bombs. He also could face as much as 48 years in prison. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that it may not be over — there's no guarantee that other bombs aren't in transit.

  • How he was caught: Wray said Sayoc was identified through a fingerprint on one package and through possible DNA samples on two of the bombs.

Sayoc's Facebook feed was "a mishmash of pro-Trump news stories, racist memes and fake news about Democrats. Popular targets include Islam ... and Hillary Clinton," the Miami Herald reports.

  • He stopped posting in October 2016 after "multiple video posts from a Trump rally."
  • The van taken into custody after his arrest was covered in political stickers, some displaying images of Trump and Vice President Pence.
  • One says: "CNN sucks."

What we know:

  • Sayoc is 56, originally from Brooklyn, grew up in Florida, and now lives in Aventura, north of Miami.
  • Sayoc had "a criminal record dating back decades, including a past arrest for making a bomb threat," the WashPost reports.
  • The bomb threat was in August 2002, when he called Florida Power and Light and threatened to blow them up, warning that “It would be worse than September 11th."
  • Sayoc also had an arrest for larceny when he was 29, and declared bankruptcy in 2012, "according to a court filing that said he lived with his mother at that time."
  • Sayoc "also had multiple run-ins with the law in Broward County, including for grand theft and battery," per the Miami Herald.

Trump praised the arrest and stayed away from the suspect's political views: "We must never allow political violence to take root in America."

  • And Wray said: "We’re concerned about people committing political acts of violence under any motivation."

Flashback ... For people who have lived through political violence, the bomb scare has been especially traumatic. AP has a haunting interview with Lisa McNair, whose sister, Denise McNair, was one of the four young African American girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.

“It’s like, ‘Ugh, again.’ When are we going to get this right? ... Why do we keep going there in America? Why do we keep going there as a world and human beings?”

This post has been updated with new information from the Department of Justice about the prison time Sayoc faces.

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