Pipe bomb suspect planned attacks for months: prosecutors

Pipe bomb suspect planned attacks for months: prosecutors
© MSNBC

The man arrested in Florida and charged with mailing explosive devices to at least 15 prominent Democratic figures, as well as CNN, began planning his attacks as far back as July, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A letter from prosecutors to Judge Edwin Torres first reported by USA Today details part of the state's case against Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56.

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"The evidence of the defendant’s terror campaign is still being collected but is already overwhelming," the letter reads, according to USA Today. 

"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."

Computer records from Sayoc's computer show that he searched online for former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE's home address on July 15, and began ramping up his efforts to target lawmakers by making a target list in September, according to the letter.

Some internet searches by the suspect included family members of his targets, such as a search for the "wife and kids" of former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Former DHS, intelligence leaders launch group to protect presidential campaigns from foreign interference Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief MORE.

"Put simply, only the defendant’s arrest and incapacitation resulting from his detention were sufficient to stop his attack," the prosecutors concluded.

Sayoc appeared in court Monday, where he was charged with five federal counts related to the bombing attacks. If convicted, he faces up to 48 years in federal prison.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE has called for unity following the attacks while rejecting calls to tone down his own often fiery political rhetoric.

"I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” he said on Wednesday.