FBI arrests man suspected in parcel bombs case in Florida
Iran Press TV
Fri Oct 26, 2018 07:16PM
US investigators have arrested an individual suspected of sending at least a dozen parcel bombs over the last week to high-profile critics of President Donald Trump ahead of key midterm elections.
FBI agents arrested the 56-year-old suspect, identified as Cesar Sayoc, in southern Florida on Friday.
The man – a registered Republican – once lived in New York and has a criminal history dating back to 1991, with charges ranging from felony theft to drug offenses and fraud, according to several US news outlets.
Authorities reportedly impounded Sayoc's white van, which was covered in Trump stickers and images of Democrats with targets on their faces.
Announcing the arrest to a cheering audience at the White House, Trump said such "terrorizing acts" were despicable and had no place in the United States.
"We must never allow political violence to take root in America - cannot let it happen," he added. "And I'm committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it and to stop it now."
Since Monday, homemade bombs and other suspected explosive devices have been addressed to former US President Barack Obama, ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Hollywood megastar Robert De Niro and a litany of figures loathed by Trump's supporters.
No one claimed responsibility for the intercepted parcel bombs, which were denounced by authorities as terrorism, and came less than two weeks ahead of US congressional elections that could alter the balance of power in Washington.
The Friday arrest comes as two more devices were discovered earlier in the day.
One of the devices was found in Florida and had been addressed to New Jersey senator Cory Booker. The other, found at a New York post office, was addressed to former national intelligence director James Clapper.
Trump, who had come under fire for his response to the spree, complained before Sayoc's arrest that the packages were slowing momentum for his Republican Party ahead of the November 6 elections.
"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this 'Bomb' stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows -- news not talking politics," Trump tweeted. "Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!"
US midterm elections take place at the halfway point during each presidential term and usually experience weak turnout due to a lack of enthusiasm. But Trump's election in 2016 has made Americans more engaged than ever with the polarized political climate.
Americans' anger at Trump may help Democrats gain more seats in Congress after the elections in November, Reuters/Ipsos polling data shows.
Opinion polls show Democrats have a chance at achieving the net gain of 23 seats they need to win a majority in the US House of Representatives. They have a longer shot at the Senate, where they need a gain of two seats, but are defending 26 seats, including 10 in states Trump won in 2016.
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