Around noon Eastern time, NBC News and others released the name of the suspect: Cesar Sayoc, a middle-aged man who was taken into custody in Florida. He has an arrest record, but it was not clear what his past offenses are.
“The suspect arrested in connection with the suspicious packages is in his 50s and has a criminal history,” reported CNN’s Evan Perez, citing a law enforcement official.
“While the suspect has an Aventura, Florida, address, he has ties to New York. He was arrested at a business in Plantation, Florida,” the report said.
That arrest came not long after two additional devices were found by authorities. One was addressed to Democrat Sen. Cory Booker, while another was sent to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who is now a CNN contributor.
At least 12 suspicious packages thought to be sent from the same offender have been located over the past week. They contained devices that were without a doubt meant to resemble bombs, although investigators found many of the objects were not capable of detonating.
While the suspect was arrested in Florida, there is a good chance that he will be interviewed and later prosecuted outside of that state by federal authorities. The interstate nature and type of crime give the FBI the lead on this case.
“Although no formal charges have been filed yet, two of the law enforcement officials said there was a high likelihood that Mr. Sayoc would be prosecuted at least in part in Federal District Court in Manhattan,” The New York Times reported.
“The F.B.I.’s New York office has been leading the investigation and five of the bombs sent this week fall under the jurisdiction of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan,” the report said.
NBC News reported that DNA evidence — most likely taken from the packages or the devices — played a role in helping authorities track down the sender.
President Donald Trump indicated that he had been briefed on the updates and addressed the nation from the White House early Friday afternoon.
“These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country,” Trump said. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America. Cannot let it happen. I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it. …
“The bottom line is that Americans must unify. We must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens.
“There is no country like our country and every day we are showing the world just how truly great we are.”
There no doubt will be endless commentary from the media and other Americans in the wake of this arrest, especially given indications he might have been a Trump supporter. However, as the president said, conservative values are about right ideas and effective policies, not violence and fear; those are the tactics of radicals. True conservatism does not need to create panic in order to win debates.
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