U.S. officials say a 56-year-old man suspected of sending explosive devices through the mail has been charged with five crimes, as President Donald Trump vowed “swift and certain justice” for anyone responsible for “terrorizing acts.”
A criminal complaint filed against Cesar Altieri Sayoc on October 26 includes charges of threats against former presidents and certain other persons, interstate transportation of an explosive, and illegal mailing of explosives.
News outlets cited law enforcement sources as saying Sayoc had been taken into custody in the southern state of Florida, in Plantation, a city 50 kilometers north of Miami.
Media reports also indicated the man had a long criminal record.
Sayoc's arrest came after several tense days following the discovery of at least 13 suspected mail bombs addressed to leading figures of the Democratic Party and vocal Trump critics, although officials have not yet publicly stated what they believe was the motive.
The packages appear to have been sent through the U.S. postal system, but they did not reach their targets and none exploded.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a news conference that he did not know why the mailer targeted Democrats.
Among the targets were former President Barack Obama and ex-Secretary of State and former first lady Hillary Clinton.
The first package was intercepted on October 22, addressed to billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a top contributor to the Democratic Party.
FBI chief Christopher Wray said investigators used DNA and fingerprint evidence to identify the suspect.
Before the suspect was officially charged, Trump praised law enforcement’s “incredible job” of quickly taking a suspect into custody and said that "these terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country."
The situation has raised tensions less than two weeks before important midterm elections.