US investigators have arrested a suspect in Florida in connection with 12 suspicious packages and pipe bombs sent to critics of Donald Trump ahead of key midterm elections.
Trump congratulated law enforcement Friday for what he called an “incredible, incredible job” as US media identified the suspect as Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old man with a criminal history.
“These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country,” Trump told an event at the White House, confirming a suspect had been apprehended following an FBI-led nationwide manhunt mobilizing hundreds of agents.
“But the bottom line is Americans must unify and we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens,” the president added.
In southern Florida, FBI agents and police swarmed the area around a strip mall in Plantation, where a van covered in blue tarpaulin was loaded onto a truck by authorities and being driven away.
Pictures broadcast on television showed the van plastered with pro-Trump stickers.
Media described Sayoc as living in Aventura, Florida while also having ties to New York.
Since Monday homemade bombs and other suspected explosive devices have been addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Hollywood megastar Robert De Niro and a litany of figures loathed by the US president’s supporters.
The packages were sent in manila envelopes with bubble wrap, marked with computer-printed address labels. Each listed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, as the sender, including misspellings of her last name, the FBI said.