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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Suspect detained over US pipe bomb campaign

Cesar Sayoc, 56 has been detained in Florida

A photo released by the Broward County Sheriff's office of Cesar Sayoc in Miami. AP
A photo released by the Broward County Sheriff's office of Cesar Sayoc in Miami. AP

The man suspected of sending at least a dozen parcel bombs to high-profile critics of U.S. President Donald Trump is a 56-year-old registered Republican in Florida with a lengthy criminal history, according to public records.

Public records showed Cesar Sayoc has been arrested numerous times over the years for domestic violence, theft and other charges. In one case, court records showed he was accused of threatening to use a bomb, though details were not immediately available.

Sayoc was taken into custody on Friday morning outside an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida, federal authorities said. He is suspected of sending parcel bombs to former President Barack Obama, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and various other public figures who have been frequent targets of Trump's derision.

Sayoc's white van, which was seized by authorities, had numerous signs in the windows showing Trump, including a drawing depicting the president standing on top of a tank emblazoned with "Trump" on the sides. The van also had a "CNN SUCKS" sign and a photo of Clinton with a bullseye superimposed on her face. CNN also received one of the suspicious packages at its New York office.

Sayoc appears to have a Facebook profile under the name Cesar Altieri Randazzo, featuring videos and photos of him attending multiple rallies for Trump, including at least one rally in Florida. The account has "liked" more than 100 conservative pages, including several anti-Clinton and pro-Trump groups.

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

The profile also described him as a veterinary student at High Point University in North Carolina. The school's registrar's office confirmed that Sayoc had applied, but said he was not currently enrolled.

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He graduated Brevard College in North Carolina in 1984, according to his LinkedIn profile. The college declined to confirm whether he had attended the school, but Sayoc was on the Brevard College soccer team in 1981 and pictured as part of a Catholic organization at the school, according to school documents posted online.

Court records in Florida listed Sayoc's birthplace as Brooklyn, New York.

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.

In court documents, Sayoc said he had worked as a store manager for a year at a small company called Hassanco Investments Inc in Hollywood, Florida, earning less than $12,000 a year. Attempts to reach the owner of the company were not successful.