One man has been arrested in Florida in connection with packages containing pipe bombs that were sent to a billionaire progressive, a liberal actor, a former Democrat president, four former members of that president’s administration and four current Democrat members of Congress – one addressed to a target at CNN.
The 56-year-old suspect, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was arrested in North Miami Beach Friday morning.
Thirteen suspicious packages, all containing devices that resemble pipe bombs, have been discovered. None have detonated, no one has been injured and no one has claimed responsibility.
The images, both x-ray and photographic, show a digital timer or cellphone attached to a pipe with two end caps that is filled with wire, glass to serve as shrapnel, and what appears to be a detonator of some type. A timer-fused device makes little sense as it is impossible to predict when the postal service will deliver anything and these packages were sent 1st class (stamped) mail which could vary in delivery times by 2-3 days depending on destination. The De Niro package had been there for a day or two before being discovered further reinforcing the theory that the bombs were not made to explode. Officials have not stated whether the timers were still counting down, had already completed their countdowns or were non-functional.
Law enforcement officials said Thursday that the bombs had a digital timer that could be used to set off the detonator. Each bomb also contained powder from either a low explosive or a pyrotechnic, as in fireworks, they said.
A law enforcement official says the pipe bombs were packed with powder and shards of glass contained in a section of PVC pipe that was about six inches long and covered with black tape. The devices included a small battery, similar to a watch battery. The official didn’t say whether the powder was explosive.
All of the packages were padded manila envelopes with computer printed address labels, listed Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s office as the return/sender’s address, and had six “Forever Stamps” on them for postage. Shultz’s name was misspelled on the return address label of all of the packages.
Forever Stamps are first-class stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. What makes them special is that you can buy them at the current first-class postage rate, and they remain valid even if that rate rises in the future. So if you buy a Forever Stamp at $0.49 cents per stamp and the first-class postage rate rises in six months to $0.55 per stamp, you are saving $0.06 cents for every letter you send.
Monday – 10/22/18 (1 package)
- 3:45 p.m. – Pipe bomb found at the home of Billionaire Progressive George Soros – Katonah, NY
- hand-delivered, contained black powder
- discovered by a caretaker as he was retrieving the mail
- dropped it in the woods outside the house and called authorities
- Soros was not home at the time
Tuesday – 10/23/18 (1 package)
- Suspicious package containing suspected explosive device intercepted at Bill and Hillary Clinton’s House – Chappaqua, NY
- Addressed to “to Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County,” according to Secret Service
- Hillary was in Florida and Bill was at home
- Secret Service says that the package was intercepted at an incoming mail facility and the Clintons were never in any danger
Wednesday – 10/24/18 (5 packages)
- Suspicious package sent to Obama’s D.C. residence intercepted by Secret Service – Washington, D.C.
- discovered early morning
- identified during routine mail screening
- Suspicious package addressed to John Brennan found in CNN mail room – New York, NY
- Time Warner building evacuated
- Suspicious package discovered at office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – Florida
- Bomb squad called in
- Package was actually addressed to former A.G. Eric Holder, but not at the proper address so the package was returned to the sender which was listed as Shultz on the envelope
- Suspicious packages addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters intercepted by Capitol Hill Police – Washington, D.C.
- Second Suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters being investigated by the Los Angeles Field Division of the ATF and LAPD is similar to the others being investigated
Thursday – 10/25/18 (3 packages)
- 4:00 a.m. – Suspicious package discovered at Robert De Niro’s restaurant in Tribeca, New York
- addressed to Robert De Niro
- had been delivered earlier in the week
- 8:30 a.m. – Suspicious package discovered at a New Castle, Delaware, postal facility
- addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden
- 9:45 a.m. – Suspicious package discovered at Wilmington, Deleware, postal facility
- addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden (this is the second package addressed to Biden)
Friday – 10/26/18 (3 packages)
- Suspicious package found at mail sorting facility in Florida
- Addressed to Senator Cory Booker
- Suspicious package found at New York City post office
- Addressed to former DNI James Clapper
- 10:45 a.m. – Law enforcement officials report that they have arrested a man in Miami, Florida, in connection to the suspicious packages containing pipe bombs
- Reports that there may still be one more mail bomb moving through the postal system
- Suspect identified as Cesar Sayoc Jr.
- Suspect’s vehicle is a white van covered in Trump stickers
- DOJ will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. EDT
- 1:30 p.m. – Suspicious package intercepted at a Sacramento, California, post office
- Addressed to Sen. Kamala Harris
If you have info that could assist the #FBI's investigation of suspicious packages, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or use https://t.co/iL7sD5efWD. If you observe suspicious activity that requires an immediate response, call 911 or contact local law enforcement immediately. pic.twitter.com/ZsFLKvXrKy
— FBI (@FBI) October 25, 2018
This is a developing story and will be updated as events warrant