An outspoken supporter of President Trump from South Florida was charged with sending 14 explosive packages to a dozen of the president’s critics in an attempted bombing spree just ahead of the midterm elections, the New York Times reports.
Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr., 56, was arrested outside an auto parts store near Fort Lauderdale after authorities said they were able to pull a fingerprint from one of the bomb packages and collect Sayoc’s DNA from two others.
Sayoc, apparently living in a van in Aventura, Fl., was taken into custody on Friday after four more explosive packages were found, including two intended for United States senators, both Democrats.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he is mentally disturbed,” Ronald Lowy, a Miami lawyer who has represented 56-year-old Sayoc in criminal cases, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He has a limited IQ, problems with basic comprehension, a history of drug abuse and steroid abuse — he acts like he’s 14 instead of his age.”
A cousin of Sayoc, Lenny Altieri, told the Associated Press that Sayoc had been a stripper.”I know the guy is a lunatic,” Altieri said. “He has been a loner.”
On an online resume, Sayoc described himself as a booker and promoter for burlesque shows.
A federal criminal complaint cites Sayoc’s contempt for this week’s many bomb targets, noting that his van was covered with images and slogans found on fringe right-wing social media accounts.
Sayoc used Twitter account to rail against Democratic figures, and both his social media messages and the bomb packages used the same misspelling — “Hilary Clinton” — for Trump’s 2016 opponent.
Of the four bombs discovered on Friday, one was addressed to Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); another was sent to James Clapper Jr., a former director of national intelligence; and a third was intercepted before it reached Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
A fourth, found in a mail facility in California, was addressed to Tom Steyer, a prominent Democratic donor.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Sayoc had been charged with five federal crimes, including the interstate transportation of an explosive, the illegal mailing of explosives and making a threat against a former president and others.
The packages sent by Sayoc included photographs of his intended targets, each one marked with a red X.
FBI. drector Christopher Wray, said that the bureau was still trying to determine if Sayoc’s bombs were “functional” but noted that they contained “energetic material” that could be dangerous.