Florida man charged with sending 13 pipe bombs to Trump critics

Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, said at a press conference in Washington Sayoc had been charged with five offences including threats against former presidents, assaulting current and former federal officers and mailing explosives. The charges were filed to federal court in Manhattan.

“Let this be a lesson to anyone, regardless of their political beliefs, that we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation and outright violence to further an agenda,” Sessions said.

Asked why most of Sayoc’s alleged targets were Democrats, Sessions said: “He appears to be a partisan.” A court filing said the stickers covering Sayoc’s van included “images critical of CNN”, the TV station frequently derided by Trump, whose New York studios were the target of two bombs.

FBI director Christopher Wray said Sayoc had been linked by a fingerprint to a package sent to the California congresswoman Maxine Waters. DNA possibly from Sayoc was also found in one of the packages, Wray said, stressing that they contained authentic explosives.

“These are not hoax devices,” Wray said, adding that more could yet be in the mail.

Three bombs were confirmed by authorities when charges were brought, bringing to 13 the number known to have been sent. None exploded before being found and no injuries were reported.

The packages found on Friday were sent to two senators, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California; to James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence. Steyer, a donor to Democratic groups, said an additional suspect package addressed to him was intercepted in Burlingame, California.