Man arrested in connection with attempted bombings

Man arrested in connection with attempted bombings

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  • The arrest occurred in South Florida after officials reportedly tracked the suspect’s cell phone.
  • On Friday, suspected explosives were discovered at addresses associated with Sen. Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
  • The Justice Department is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. E.T.

Federal authorities have arrested a man in connection with the multiple bombs sent to prominent Democrats this week, the Justice Department said Friday.

The arrest happened in South Florida and it comes just hours after authorities discovered two suspected explosive packages sent to addresses associated with Sen. Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. In total, 12 Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump have been targeted in the string of attempted bombings.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokesperson with the Justice Department, confirmed the arrest on Twitter and announced a press conference in the afternoon.

The suspect is reportedly a 56-year-old man named Cesar Sayoc. In live video footage from the arrest scene—an AutoZone in Plantation, Fla.—officials could be seen investigating a white van covered in pro-Trump stickers and other right-leaning decals.

Image of the van discovered at the arrest scene.

Officials had been tracking the suspect via cell phone early Friday morning, leading to an arrest just several miles from where the suspect lives, according to a senior law enforcement official who spoke to The Daily Beast.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the FBI, Secret Service and other agencies were "working tirelessly" to investigate the packages.

"I can tell you this: we will find the person — persons responsible, and we’re going to bring them to justice."

It’s currently unclear exactly how authorities managed to track down the suspect, though several package-screening techniques used by the USPS might have played a role. Those include portable X-ray machines and biological detection systems (BDS), as well as tell-tale signs of suspicious packages, such as heavy items sent to high-profile destinations or packages sent using stamps only (so suspects can avoid the cameras they would encounter in the post office while paying for exact postage).

Who are the bomb targets?

In addition to Booker and Clapper, the following people have been targeted this week by the bomber(s):

  • Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
  • Former President Barack Obama
  • Former CIA Director and CNN contributor John Brennan (This package resulted in the evacuation of CNN’s New York bureau.)
  • Billionaire George Soros
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. (Two bombs were addressed to Waters.)
  • Actor Robert De Niro
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden (Two bombs were addressed to Biden.)

Clapper, who has frequently criticized Trump, told CNN Friday morning that he wouldn’t be intimidated by the attempted attack.

"I do want to just echo one thing that John Brennan said and that this is not going to silence the administration’s critics," Clapper said.

TECH|SCI

via Big Think https://bigthink.com/

October 26, 2018 at 03:26PM

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