Authorities on Monday intercepted a “suspicious package” addressed to CNN, and the FBI said it was “similar in appearance” to the 14 possible bombs mailed recently to prominent Democratic and media figures who have been critical of President Donald Trump.
Agents were investigating Monday afternoon to determine if the person who sent the most recent package was the same man, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, believed to be responsible for the others, according to a federal law enforcement official.
After Sayoc’s arrest Friday, authorities warned that more packages might still be circulating through the mail system.
CNN broke the news of the latest package Monday, saying in a statement that “another suspicious package” addressed to the news organization at a post office in Atlanta. Two in the previous batch directed to CNN, one of which sparked an evacuation of the organization’s office in New York.
In a statement, CNN president Jeff Zucker said there was “no imminent danger to the CNN Center” in Atlanta. He said all mail is screened off site, so the package would not have come there directly, even if it had not been intercepted at the post office. A CNN correspondent posted an image of the package on Twitter, showing it appeared similar to the other 14.
The two packages that authorities say Sayoc directed to CNN previously were targeted at former director of national intelligence James Clapper and former CIA director John Brennan. Both are prominent television commentators, though Brennan is an analyst for MSNBC, rather than CNN, and his name was misspelled on the package directed to him.
Sayoc’s other targets included former President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, liberal billionaire George Soros and actor Robert De Niro, authorities said.
Authorities have said the previous packages contained possible bombs made of six inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring and what authorities termed “energetic,” or possibly explosive, material. They were shipped through the mail in manila envelopes lined with bubble wrap. None detonated, and it is unclear whether they could have, authorities have said.
The FBI said it linked Sayoc by connecting him to fingerprint on one of the envelopes, as well as a possible DNA match from two of the devices. Sayoc, a strip club worker who lived out a van, has a lengthy criminal past, including arrests for theft, fraud and threatening to bomb a utility company. His social media shows he was an ardent defender of the president and virulent critic of Trump’s opponents. Family members and associates have said he seemed to have mental health issues, though he rejected their pleas that he seek help.
On Monday morning, before the latest package to CNN was discovered, Trump wrote on Twitter that media organizations were to blame for division in the United States.
“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!” he wrote.
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