Justin Norris | Staff Writer
Elizabeth Williams |Associated Press
The bomb threat suspect who is accused of sending at least 14 potentially explosive devices to notable Democrats, Democratic donors and CNN offices has been arrested. According to the Washington Post, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida and charged with five federal crimes: interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers. He could serve up to 48 years in prison.
This is not the first time Sayoc has been linked to an explosive threat. In 2002, upon being arrested for trying to bomb Florida Power and Light Co. he claimed the explosion would be “worse than September 11th,” according to Miami police officers interviewed in a CNN report.
Although nobody was harmed, the significance of Sayoc’s actions cannot be overlooked. The only people targeted by Sayoc were those affiliated with the Democratic party. He sent packages to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Eric Holder, Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, George Soros, John Brennan, James Clapper, Tom Steyer and Robert De Niro. According to CNN, at the time of his arrest Sayoc was living in a white van with pictures of President Trump and Vice President Pence on the van. There was also a “CNN Sucks” sticker on the vehicle.
John Harvey IV, a third-year business administration major from Washington D.C., expressed his fear concerning the bomb threat suspect and those like him: “Cesar Sayoc’s actions clearly illustrated a pattern, as evidenced by the targets he chose to mail the packages to. He was trying to harm, or at least, intimidate Democrats right before midterms as a way to silence their voice[s]. There are also nonviolent efforts to keep Democratic voters from the polls taking place around the nation. Georgia just settled a lawsuit that accused Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp of disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters in an effort to defeat his opponent, Stacey Abrams. After what happened in the last presidential election, this country needs to take voter integrity seriously.”
Sayoc’s actions were those of a domestic terrorist, strategically performed right before midterm elections. Fortunately, Sayoc was apprehended before people flocked to the polls to vote. Intimidation tactics to dissuade people, usually minorities, from voting is not a new practice. This is just a more advanced method of trying to scare people.