Feds Label Cesar Sayoc ‘Domestic Terrorist,’ Reveal Alleged Online Search History Involving Targets

A new filing in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) paints accused MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc as a domestic terrorist over 15 pipe bombs he allegedly sent through the U.S. Postal Service to various Democratic Party politicians and other high-profile liberals and media organizations.

In the seven-page letter submitted Tuesday, SDNY Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said the FBI had identified Sayoc using fingerprint and DNA samples and requested that Sayoc be immediately transported to New York pending a Friday hearing. Berman’s letter also requests that the accused terrorist be denied bail and held in custody until trial. The filing alleges:

The defendant conducted a domestic terrorist attack targeting at least 15 victims with improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”) that he sent to locations throughout the country in padded mailing envelopes. … While analysis of the IEDs by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) remains ongoing, it is clear that many of the devices contained energetic material with explosive qualities,and several of the devices also contained shards of glass that could only have been intended to maximize harm to the defendant’s victims.

Notably, the government does not shy away from using the terrorist label to describe Sayoc’s alleged activity–using this designation as a justification to deny the suspect’s bail.

“The evidence of the defendant’s terror campaign is still being collected but is already overwhelming,” the filing reads. “Because of the powerful proof that the defendant perpetrated these acts, he poses a substantial danger to the community. In light of the consequences at issue and the likelihood of conviction, the defendant is also a substantial flight risk. Therefore, pretrial detention is appropriate.”

Sayoc is currently charged with five crimes over the alleged terror campaign and faces up to 48 years in prison if convicted. Those charges are: (1) interstate transportation of an explosive; (2) illegally mailing explosives; (3) conveying threats against an immediate family member of a former President; (4) conveying threats in interstate commerce; and (5) assaulting a former federal official.

The filing makes clear, however, that Sayoc is “likely to face additional charges and increased penalties.” This idea is reiterated a second time, as Berman notes, “The FBI’s investigation is ongoing, and the Government is in the process of evaluating additional evidence, which may warrant further criminal charges.”

Wednesday’s filing also highlights some of the electronic evidence linking Sayoc to the 15 bombing attempts.

“The FBI has already recovered electronic devices from the defendant that contain documents with the victim addresses to which the defendant mailed the IEDs as well as Internet searches related to his targets,” the letter says. “Metadata from the electronic devices indicates that the defendant started planning the attack as early as July 2018.”

The filing continues:

The FBI also seized multiple electronic devices from the Sayoc Van, including a laptop (the “Sayoc Laptop”), which were searched pursuant to warrants issued in the Southern District of New York. The Sayoc Laptop contains lists of physical addresses that match the labels on the IED packages that the defendant mailed…

The FBI claims to have obtained additional evidence from Sayoc’s laptop and cell phone as well.

“Forensic evidence from the Sayoc Laptop also indicates that the defendant used that computer to conduct research on his targets,” the filing notes.

Such information includes at least fifteen allegedly suspicious and linked search terms.

Those alleged searches include: (1) “cnn building;” (2) “george soros and family;”; (3) “hilary clinton and family;” (4) “james clapper wife and kids;” (5) “eric holder wife and kids;” (6) “john brennan wife and kids;” (7) “hilary Clinton hime address;” (8) “address Debbie wauserman Shultz;” (9) “address kamila harrias;” (10) “address for barack Obama;” (11) “michelle obama mailing address;” (12) “joseph biden jr;” (13)  “address cory booker new jersey;” (14) “tom steyers mailing address” and (15) “address kamala harris.”

Sayoc has also acknowledged that his name is the one charged in the complaint.

The defendant is currently scheduled for a Friday hearing in the Southern District of Florida.

Sayoc Letter by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via FBI]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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