The Justice Department announced on Friday the arrest of Cesar Sayoc, the suspect in the attempted bombings of around a dozen prominent Democrats and CNN’s New York offices, charging the 56-year-old Florida man with five federal crimes.
As national networks showed investigators surrounding the suspect’s van, which is covered with stickers supporting President Donald Trump and taking aim at numerous Democrats and the media, reports emerged regarding social media accounts that apparently belonged to Sayoc.
The accounts threatened most of the Democrats and media members — all frequent targets of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric — who were sent explosive devices this week.
Before Twitter suspended the suspect’s suspected accounts on Friday, Huff Post’s Ryan J. Reilly noted a pair of disturbing messages. A tweet sent to former Vice President Joe Biden last month said “Hug your loved one,Niece,wife family real close everytime U walk out your home.”
The FBI announced a suspected pipe bomb addressed to Biden was found in a Delaware mail facility on Thursday.
Trump has referred to Biden as “not very bright” and “creepy Joe.” The president tweeted in March that the former vice president “would go down fast and hard, crying all the way” if they got into a fight.
Reilly also noticed a recent tweet sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder that warned “See u soon Tick Tock.”
The FBI said an explosive device was mailed to Holder on Wednesday, but did not arrive due to an incorrect address.
A 2014 Trump retweet claimed Holder had “set race back 30 years.” After conservative media misconstrued remarks President Barack Obama’s former attorney general made to make it seem like he was encouraging physical violence against Republicans — even though he specifically said the opposite — Trump warned Holder to “better be careful what he’s wishing for.”
BuzzFeed News took a screenshot of an April tweet to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) that warned “Your end will come soon.”
A suspicious package addressed to Booker that contained an explosive device was discovered at a mail facility in Florida on Friday.
Trump warned “I know more about Cory than he knows about himself” in a 2016 tweet. The president called the New Jersey Democrat a “really evil” person before the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this month.
BuzzFeed News also screengrabbed a threatening tweet sent to CNN days before July 4th with an image of a building on fire.
CNN’s New York office was evacuated on Wednesday following the discovery of an explosive device addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan.
CNN aired footage on Friday that appeared to show Sayoc holding a “CNN sucks” sign at a 2017 Trump rally.
CNN digs up video of Cesar Sayoc at an early 2017 Trump rally carrying an anti-CNN banner. pic.twitter.com/ZwRqM9MApZ
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 26, 2018
An image that was reportedly shared by Sayoc on Facebook shows him at the same 2017 Trump rally. The FBI’s charges noted the “windows of Sayoc’s van were covered with images including images critical of CNN.”
Trump tweeted a video that depicted him physically assaulting CNN in 2017. The president has also discussed CNN’s “hatred” and called the network “so disgusting” on Twitter. Trump tweeted “Fake News CNN is dead!” to praise Fox News in June. “CNN sucks” chants have become a staple of Trump rallies.
The president has referred to news media as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase used by a 68-year-old man arrested by the FBI in August who threatened a mass shooting against the Boston Globe over its criticism of Trump.
Mail bomb suspect Sayoc's twitter feed is a cauldron of hatred. Obsession with Trump and Soros. Nastiness about Obama's (white) mother. Quotes from Hannity pic.twitter.com/a2w6b5Bs6O
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) October 26, 2018
An explosive device was found at Soros’ New York home on Monday. According to the FBI’s charges, the accounts suspected of belonging to Sayoc continued to target Soros after the attempted bombing.
Trump repeated a popular conservative conspiracy theory that Soros is paying protesters in a tweet earlier this month.
Sayoc’s van reportedly contains images of Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with targets over their faces.
SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE SUSPECT: Cesar Sayoc, 56, under arrest in South Florida. Authorities say he has a criminal past and ties to New York. His van, recovered in Plantation, is covered in pro-Trump, anti Hillary Clinton stickers.https://t.co/goiD4txZiR pic.twitter.com/4uZNAfzSEq
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) October 26, 2018
On the Facebook account that is believed to belong to the suspect and has now been taken down, Obama was called the “N-word” multiple times and one post said “Obama Muslim terrorist blood on his hands needs to be executed.”
The Secret Service intercepted an explosive device that was addressed to Obama’s Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday.
Trump was the most prominent supporter of the baseless “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. The president also amplified the conspiracy theory that his predecessor was secretly Muslim. Trump called Obama the “founder of ISIS” in 2016 and tweeted “We should have a revolution in this country!” after Obama’s re-election in 2012.
The same Facebook account also said “Clinton will be killed” in a post that spread conservative misinformation about the former First Lady.
The Secret Service discovered an explosive device that was addressed to Clinton’s New York home on Wednesday.
Trump suggested “Second Amendment people” could stop Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The president of the United States retweeted an animated GIF from a racist birther that depicted him knocking Clinton over with a golf ball in 2017. Despite Trump’s selective concerns about due process, “lock her up” is still chanted about the former First Lady at his rallies even though Clinton has never been charged with a crime.
The same Facebook account also referred to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) by the “N-word.”
An explosive device discovered at a Maryland mail sorting facility on Wednesday was intended for Waters’ congressional office.
Trump has called Waters “crazy” and “an extraordinarily low IQ person” on Twitter. The president claimed the California Democrat has an IQ “somewhere in the mid-60s” during a July speech. After conservative media willfully misinterpreted Waters’ remarks encouraging protesters in June, Trump warned “Be careful what you wish for Max!” on Twitter.
Democratic strategist Rochelle Ritchie reported a threatening tweet from Sayoc to Twitter two weeks ago, but the social media platform determined the threat of “Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you home” contained “no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.”
The New York Times says Sayoc’s Twitter activity included sharing “inflammatory news stories from Breitbart, hard-edge videos from Fox News, and angry posts from pages like “Handcuffs for Hillary.”
Trump has said he does not intend to contact the targets of the attempted bombings, per CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.