Federal authorities in the United States have identified and arrested a suspect in the attempted bombings that have dominated headlines for days.
Cesar Sayoc mailed pipe bombs to eleven individuals and instutitions, including CNN, the Clintons, the Obamas, George Soros, Robert De Niro, and Maxine Waters.
The targets have one feature in common: all of them are political rivals of Donald Trump. This incident, which has captivated national attention all week, will likely have far-reaching political and social consequences.
I am just waiting for Trump to always blame the media and Democrats. He is incapable of taking responsibility for his own wrongdoings then again if he was normal President, we wouldn't have #MAGABomber today. pic.twitter.com/iBmflAx1Yt— Hijra (@Hijra93) October 26, 2018
Early reports suggest that Sayoc was a mysterious figure active in far-right groups.
Here's eveything we know so far.
He is obssessed with Donald Trump
Just take a look at Sayoc's van:
The vehicle is covered in threats and menacing images of liberal political figures.
Sayoc also attended multiple Trump rallies and seems to have participated in any Trump-related activities he could access.
The #MAGABomber Cesar Sayoc is literally wearing a #MAGA hat at a Trump rally, and Trump thinks he has nothing to do with the toxic culture that empowered this guy.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 26, 2018
It is unclear what motivated this obsession with the president. But it will be hard for Trump to claim that his rhetoric and actions are not at least partly responsible for instigating Sayoc's attacks.
He worships celebrity
If reports are accurate, Sayoc gained a following among Trump-supporting extremists.
MAGA Bomber Cesar Sayoc, Jr was a regular at Trump rallies and considered a "celebrity" amongst the fanatics. pic.twitter.com/KgoC12RjIj— Pesach 'Pace' Lattin (@pacelattin) October 26, 2018
The aim for celebrity may have motivated him to send those packages. This would suggest that, in fact, Sayoc wanted to be caught.
That could actually be more troubling. If Sayoc planned on his capture, his true aim may have been to inspire other fanatics.
Sayoc also provides insight into Trump's cult-like following. While, of course, Sayoc is an outlier and most Trump-supporters do not harbour violent inclinations (though the policies they support do inflict physical harm), he is a symptom of an alarming phenomenon: personality-worship and the subsequent escalation of American political discourse from rhetorical disagreements to volatile conflict.
The far-right is going crazy with conspiracy theories
For days, individuals on the far-right have claimed that the "MAGABomber" is a Democratic operative working to tarnish Trump's reputation.
When Sayoc's name was released, some pointed out that one possible anagram of his name is "a accessory." This has only bolstered conspiracy theories.
Such theories are dangerous and only further inflame fanatics like Sayoc.
He has a mysterious history
Sayoc runs multiple mysterious business, including, apparently, a strip club, dry cleaning store, and catering company.
He has also been arrested multiple times already.
*If* The pipe bomb suspect has been correctly identified, (as 56 y/o Cesar Sayoc) worth noting that according to Lexis/Nexis, he runs a couple of companies with “Native American” in the title pic.twitter.com/AXRPwifB4k— Will Carless (@willcarless) October 26, 2018
Some suggest that we are not yet aware of all of Sayoc's involvements.
Expect more information about his associations to become clear in the coming days.