A van covered in blue tarp is towed by FBI investigators on October 26, 2018, in Plantation, Florida, in connection with the 12 pipe bombs and suspicious packages mailed to top Democrats. Image Credit: AFP

New York: Update: FBI Director Christopher Wray says more than a dozen pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and CNN were "not hoax devices."

Wray says each of the pipe bombs contained materials that could react and cause a potential explosion.

Wray made the comments Friday as federal authorities announced the charging of 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Sayoc, of Florida, with five federal crimes including mailing explosives and threatening former U.S. presidents.

Wray says federal authorities have located 13 improvised explosive devices that were assembled in a similar manner.

None of the devices has exploded and no one has been injured.

 

Justice Department officials revealed that a latent fingerprint found on one package helped them identify their suspect as Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida.

The criminal complaint charges Sayoc with illegally mailing explosives, illegally transporting explosives across state lines, making threats against former presidents, assaulting federal officers and threatening interstate commerce.

Suspicious package sent to Democratic donor Tom Steye.

Three law enforcement officials identify person in custody in package bomb case as Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida.  

A law enforcement official says that the man detained in Florida in connection with the pipe bomb scare will be prosecuted in New York City.

The official said Friday that Cesar Sayoc will face charges in federal court in Manhattan after an initial court appearance in Florida. Five of the 12 improvised devices involved in the case were recovered in the Southern District of New York.

The official wasn't authorised to discuss the prosecution because a complaint was still being drafted and spoke on condition of anonymity.

 

Four officials familiar with the investigation identified the man to The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter on the record.

It was not clear whether Sayoc (pictured, left) had been formally charged in the rash of devices addressed in recent days to Democratic figures including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

 He was arrested at an auto parts store in the nearby city of Plantation.

Court records show Sayoc has a history of arrests.

A Twitter account that appears to belong to the suspect in the mail-bomb scare includes repeated attacks on billionaire George Soros and praise for President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

In linking him to the Twitter account, The Associated Press noted that it contains imagery that mirrored what appeared on the side of the van that authorities seized, in tweets that had been sent long before the explosive devices began to appear.

Authorities have not said whether the van seized in Florida was linked to Sayoc.

The tweets accuse Soros of paying off a victim from the Parkland mass shooting and accusing Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, of being a Soros puppet.

The account also praises Trump and other Republicans.
The account includes anti-Gillum memes, with one including the caption "$500,000 SOROS PUPPET."

The October 24 posting includes a photo of Soros doctored to look like he's holding a puppet meant to resemble Gillum.

Sayoc is a promoter, booking agent and "live entertainment owner," according to his LinkedIn profile, which listed him as the owner of International Gold Productions.

He filed for bankruptcy in Miami in 2012, according to court records. At the time, Sayoc said he lived with his mother in Aventura, Florida, and listed a $1,150 tax refund and a 2001 Chevy Tahoe vehicle as his only assets.

Law enforcement officers were seen on television examining a white van, its windows covered with an assortment of stickers, in the city of Plantation in the Miami area. Authorities covered the vehicle with a blue tarp and took it away on the back of a flatbed truck.

Meanwhile, President Trump spoke about investigation into bomb packages, saying any and all suspects will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. he said he had been briefed about the suspect that law enforcement earlier took into custody . "These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country," Trump said at a White House event for young black conservatives. 

"I've instructed authorities to spare no resource or expense in finding those responsible and bringing them to swift and certain justice."

"We must never allow political violence to take root in America," Trump added.

"We must show the world that we are united together in peace, love and harmony as fellow American citizens."

 

Federal agents have arrested a suspect in connection with at least 12 suspicious packages and mail bombs sent to top Democrats and liberal critics of President Donald Trump, an official confirmed Friday.

"We can confirm one person is in custody," a US Department of Justice spokeswoman tweeted, announcing that a news conference would be held at 2.30 pm (1830 GMT).

Several US media reported that the suspect was taken into custody for questioning in Florida.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman announced the arrest on Friday morning, saying a news conference would be held at 2:30 pm (1830 GMT).

US media said the suspect was taken into custody in Florida, where a huge nationwide manhunt mobilizing hundreds of agents, had reportedly concentrated in recent hours.

 

US President Donald Trump says bomb alerts are harming Republicans' vote 'momentum' in a tweet.

Suspicious packages addressed to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper - and similar in appearance to pipe bomb devices sent to other prominent Democrats - have been intercepted, the FBI said on Friday, as investigators scrambled from coast to coast to locate the culprit and motives behind a bizarre plot aimed at critics of President Donald Trump.

The discoveries brought to 12 the total number of devices addressed in recent days to Democratic figures including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.  

The FBI said the package to Booker was intercepted in Florida.

"The #FBI has confirmed an 11th package has been recovered in Florida, similar in appearance to the others, addressed to Sen. Cory Booker," the FBI posted on Twitter.

Booker, seen as a potential candidate for the 2020 presidential election, is among politicians, other public figures and TV news network CNN to have been singled out in the campaign.

The FBI also tweeted about what do if one is faced with a suspicious package.

Meanwhile, an AP source has said a suspicious package was found at a New York post office addressed to former intelligence director James Clapper. Former Director Of National Intelligence clapper says 'not a surprise' to be mailed suspicious package, calls it domestic terrorism. 

Trump has tweeted to the news as well.

Earlier in the day actor Robert De Niro said in a statement released by his publicist: "There's something more powerful than bombs, and that's your vote. People must vote!"

A suspicious package containing what authorities described as a crude pipe bomb was discovered at De Niro's New York City office on Thursday.

De Niro says he is thankful no one was hurt. He also thanked "the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for protecting us".

US mail bombs: who's been targeted?

Top, from left to right: Actor Robert De Niro; US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Democratic Party donor George Soros and former US President Barack Obama. Bottom,from left: Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former US Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA director John Brennan - Reuters


Here's a list of some of those targeted.

George Soros 

Hedge fund billionaire Soros was the target of the first bomb discovered, found on Monday in a mailbox at his New York home.

Trump and his supporters have frequently accused Soros of financing anti-administration activists, as well as sponsoring thousands of Central American migrants currently marching toward the US border.
 
Hillary Clinton 

On Tuesday, the Secret Service intercepted a package addressed to Clinton at the New York home she shares with her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has repeatedly targeted his election rival in Twitter tirades, branding her "Crooked Hillary," and entertaining his supporters at election rallies with chants to "lock her up."
 
Barack Obama

Trump's predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, was targeted by a bomb addressed to his Washington home.

Trump has made reversing Obama's legacy a hallmark of his own administration.

Last month, Obama returned to the political fray with a wide-ranging speech slamming Trump's divisive politics.
 
Eric Holder 
 
Eric Holder served under Obama as the first African American US attorney general.

Holder grabbed headlines recently when he called for a new approach to battling Republicans: "When they go low, we kick them. That's what this new Democratic Party is about."

A package addressed to his Washington office ended up going to the return address - the Florida office of Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
 
John Brennan, care of CNN 
 
A package was posted to Obama's CIA director John Brennan, care of CNN.
Trump makes clear on an almost daily basis his disdain for the cable news network, which is critical of his administration.

Brennan, a frequent CNN commentator, has been a leader of criticism of Trump as an unqualified president who poorly represents US diplomatic and security interests.

In retaliation, Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance in August.
 
Maxine Waters
 
Senior Representative Maxine Waters, Trump who Trump brands "crazy" and an "extraordinarily low IQ person," was sent two bomb-laden packages.

The California Democrat notably has urged her supporters to confront Trump administration officials in public, even in restaurants, to "tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere."
 
Robert De Niro 

Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro is one of Hollywood's loudest voices against Trump.

In June, he received a standing ovation at the Tony Awards when he used an expletive to condemn the president.

A bomb-laden package was intercepted on Thursday at his TriBeCa Productions in New York.
 
 Joe Biden 

Two suspicious packages addressed to Obama's vice president Joe Biden - a possible challenger to Trump in the 2020 election - were intercepted at a Delaware postal facility on Thursday.

Earlier this year, Biden suggested he would have "beat the hell out of" Trump if they were in high school, over the president's unsavory comments about women.
 
Cory Booker

Booker, a senator from New Jersey, has signaled his interest in running for president in 2020, putting him in Trump's sights.

Booker was one of the leading opponents to Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which Trump said made him "really evil."
 
James Clapper 

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence under Obama, was also sent a suspicious package care of CNN, where like Brennan he appears regularly as a critic of Trump's national security policy. The package was discovered Friday.

Earlier this year, Clapper said Russian interference in the 2016 election was crucial in Trump's victory over Clinton.