Cesar Altieri Sayoc was arrested in Florida last week and charged with five federal crimes. The charges are likely to be enlarged now that 15 bombs have been found.
The Florida man accused of mailing bombs to prominent Democrats started planning what prosecutors call a domestic terrorist attack as early as July and kept lists on his laptop with the addresses of his intended victims, reports the Wall Street Journal. Cesar Altieri Sayoc, 56, was arrested in Florida last week and charged with five federal crimes.Prosecutors said the bombs, sent in manila envelopes to at least 15 intended victims, including two former presidents, were clearly dangerous and intended to maximize harm. The FBI seized electronic devices from Sayoc’s white van, which the letter said had stickers showing crosshairs over images of some of the defendant’s intended victims.
The devices included a laptop with lists of addresses that match the labels on the packages that contained the bombs, prosecutors said. The laptop showed that Sayoc researched his targets. They said he searched online for phrases including “hilary clinton and family”; “james clapper wife and kids”; and “george soros and family.” Sayoc’s phone also showed searches for phrases including “michelle obama mailing address.” Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat running for Senate, received threatening Facebook messages from Sayoc in April. The messages were reported to Capitol Police and turned over to the FBI in July. Sayoc is likely to face additional criminal counts. While the complaint describes 13 bombs, two more have been intercepted since prosecutors filed charges. One, intercepted by law enforcement on Friday, was addressed to Thomas Steyer, a Democratic donor and critic of President Trump, in San Francisco. Another, discovered on Monday, was addressed to CNN in Atlanta.