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US mail bomb suspect appears in New York court

Cesar Sayoc was arrested on 26 October and charged with mailing explosive devices to critics of Trump.

In this courtroom sketch, pipe bombs suspect Cesar Sayoc seated in court, raises his arm to swear to the truth of his statement of need for assigned counsel.
In this courtroom sketch, pipe bombs suspect Cesar Sayoc seated in court, raises his arm to swear to the truth of his statement of need for assigned counsel.
Image: Elizabeth Williams via PA Images

CESAR SAYOC, THE Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to critics of US President Donald Trump, appeared in a New York court today and was ordered held without bail.

Sayoc, 56, appeared before a Manhattan federal court for just a few minutes. He did not fight detention and was remanded, an official at the US Attorney’s office said. He will need to be indicted before 12 November.

He was arrested on 26 October and charged with mailing explosive devices to former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro and others.

Several of the devices were intercepted in New York.

Sayoc, a registered Republican with a criminal history and reported past as a stripper, initially appeared in court in Miami, before being sent to New York, where charges were first filed in the mail bombing spree.

The attempted bombings heightened political tensions and put the United States on edge ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, seen as a referendum on the Trump presidency.

The suspect was living in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers when he was arrested at an auto store in Plantation, Florida.

The explosive devices were sent through the mail and Sayoc was tracked down based on fingerprint and possible DNA evidence, according to the FBI.

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© AFP, 2018

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