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Cesar Sayoc Identified As Suspect In Mail Pipe Bomb Plot: Reports

A suspect has reportedly been arrested in connection with more than 10 packages containing likely pipe bombs mailed in the past week to people critical of President Donald Trump.

The Department of Justice confirmed Friday that a man in Florida has been arrested in connection with the terrorism.

The suspect is reportedly Cesar Sayoc, 56, of South Florida, according to Reuters, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, citing law enforcement officials.

DOJ officials are set to brief reporters this afternoon.

In remarks at the White House before a youth leadership summit, Trump congratulated local and national law enforcement agencies for apprehending the suspect. The president pledged to prosecute those responsible ― “them, him, her, whoever it may be,” he said ― to the fullest extent of the law.

“We must never allow political violence to take root in America,” Trump said.

“The bottom line is that Americans must unify,” he went on. His comments echoed those he has delivered at rallies and sent over Twitter in the wake of the bomb scares, calling for unity and a calmer discourse but refusing to tone down his own inflammatory rhetoric.

Minutes after addressing the threats to prominent Democrats, Trump claimed Republicans are often attacked for supporting him. “Come to think of it, does anyone get attacked more than me?” Trump said.

The development came hours after two additional packages were discovered, one addressed to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and the other to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Authorities have heightened their search in Florida, as several of the packages may have passed through the state. The FBI said Friday that the package for Booker was found in a Florida mail facility.

Throughout the week, more than 10 packages containing potential explosive devices have been mailed to lawmakers and other public figures critical of Trump, including former President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), actor Robert De Niro and former CIA Director John Brennan.

The package addressed Brennan was sent to CNN’s New York City bureau, sparking an evacuation Wednesday. Brennan is an MSNBC and NBC contributor. On Friday, postal officials intercepted the package for Clapper, a CNN contributor, before it could reach the CNN offices, where it was addressed, according to the network.

All of the packages listed the Florida office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, as the return address.

Sara Boboltz contributed reporting.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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