Federal agents have arrested a suspect in connection with at least 12 suspicious packages and mail bombs sent to top Democrats and liberal critics of President Donald Trump, an official confirmed Friday.
“We can confirm one person is in custody,” a U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman tweeted, announcing that a news conference would be held at 2:30 p.m.
Several U.S. media reported that the suspect was taken into custody for questioning in Florida.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker became the latest target in the spree of mail bombings on Friday, the FBI confirmed.
Booker, seen as a potential candidate for the 2020 presidential election, is among politicians, other public figures and TV news network CNN to have been singled out in the campaign.
The announcement came as hundreds of officers from the bureau, US Secret Service and other agencies hunted the culprit or culprits behind a series of devices sent by mail or courier that politicians on all sides have branded “terrorism.”
U.S. media said a 12th package addressed to former director of national intelligence James Clapper had been intercepted in Manhattan, although the reports were not immediately confirmed.
Clapper is among a number of former intelligence chiefs who have been harsh critics of Trump since he took office, and have been threatened with having their security clearances revoked.
Since Monday, crude, homemade bombs and other suspected explosive devices have been addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN, liberal billionaire donor George Soros and other figures loathed by the president’s supporters.
Trump complained Friday that the spate of bomb alerts targeting many of his political rivals was damaging the “momentum” of his Republican Party ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows,” Trump complained on Twitter.
Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
The president also resumed his attacks on the media Friday, criticizing CNN in his first public comment directly mentioning the media outlet after a bomb was sent to their New York office earlier this week.
“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!'” Trump tweeted.