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Tag: bombs

Bomb Suspect Left Behind Trail of Clues for FBI

Bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The part-time DJ arrested on charges of sending bombs to prominent Democrats left a trail of evidence for the FBI.

Lab technicians discovered matching DNA on separate pipe bombs and identical fingerprints on two packages.

On social media, he misspelled “Hilary” Clinton and Debbie Wasserman “Shultz” – the same mistakes made on the mailings.

US News reports that intercepted, bubble-wrapped manila envelopes contained vital forensic evidence that was sufficient for investigators to arrest 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc while he was spinning records at a Florida nightclub. 

“Criminals make mistakes so the more opportunities that law enforcement has to detect them, the greater chance they’re going to be able to act on that, and that appears to be what happened here,” said former Justice Department prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty, who prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case.

The evidence led authorities to a man with a long criminal history who appeared to be living in his van.

Sayoc is due in court Monday afternoon.

Updated: Fingerprint Match and Misspellings Lead to Arrest of Man Sending Bombs

One of the devices with a return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated: 4:16 p.m. Sat.  — The Washington Post reports: A Florida man with a criminal history and a fervor for President Donald Trump sent at least 13 mail bombs to prominent Democrats, Justice Department officials said, crediting DNA, a fingerprint match and misspellings for the key break in a case that spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the U.S.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, faces five federal charges in connection with a mail bomb plot that spurred a weeklong, coast-to-coast investigation that continued even after he was taken into custody Friday as investigators scrutinized additional suspicious packages.

______________________________

Federal authorities’ hunt for a serial mail bomber who targeted critics of President Trump is honing in on Florida, where at least some of the 10 packages originated.

Bomb squad, canine units and federal investigators examined a U.S. mail distribution center at Opa-Locka,  northwest of Opa-Locka, where authorities believe some of the packages were passed through.

“Some of the packages went through the mail. They originated, some of them, from Florida,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielse said during an interview with Fox News. “I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice.”

Florida became a focal point after a device addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was discovered en route to the return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

So far, no suspects have been identified.

Each package consisted of a manila envelope with bubble wrap, a computer-printed address label and six “forever” postage stamps. Stuffed inside each envelope was a tape-wrapped device assembled with pieces of plastic PVC pipe that included black powder and shards of shrapnel, perhaps glass. Each pipe had a timing-like mechanism.

Trump initially called for “unity” and civility Wednesday, but at 3:15 a.m. Friday, he slammed CNN, where one of the bombs was sent.

“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.

The bombs have been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN’s New York headquarters.

Inmates Train Puppies Before They Become Bomb-Sniffing Crime Stoppers

Photo courtesy of Puppies Behind Bars.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Taylor spent most of her early life behind the walls of a New Jersey women’s correctional facility.

Now the black Labrador is answering a higher calling, sniffing out bombs and shell casings for the ATF.

The two-year-old dog, who is more hyper than her explosives-detecting predecessor, shares a home with his veteran agent handler, Nic Garlie of the St. Louis ATF office, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports in an uplifting story about second chances and America’s best friend. 

Taylor was raised by prison inmates under a program called, Puppies Behind Bars, which gives criminals an opportunity to raise puppies that are being groomed to work for agencies such as the ATF. It gives inmates a sense of responsibility and provides positive interactions.  

“They really feel like part of them leaves prison when the dog succeeds and goes on to work,” Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the program’s founder, said.

One of Taylor’s handlers, Neville, spent much of her 12 years behind bars alone, bored and without much to accomplish.

The four-legged friend changed Neville’s outlook, according to her journal entries.

“It is a wonderful nervous energy to think while I am locked in this world, I can still be a service to someone,” Neville wrote.

Now Taylor is prepared to help keep America safe.

Suspected Serial Bomber Blows Self Up Following Police Chase

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley speaks to the media just hours after the suspected serial bomber was killed.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The suspected serial bomber who has terrorized Austin, Texas, in a deadly string of explosions this month blew himself up in his car after a brief police pursuit early Wednesday morning, local and federal law enforcement officials told reporters at 6 a.m.

An Austin police officer suffered minor injuries in the explosion.

Acting on numerous tips, authorities tracked down the 24-year-old white man in a car in the rear of a hotel along Interstate 35 in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.

While police waited for ballistic vehicles to arrive, the suspect drove off, prompting a brief chase that ended when the suspect stopped in a ditch on the side of the road. As the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated a bomb, injuring one officer and prompting another to fire his weapon.

The suspect, who was gravely injured, was struck with a bullet and died said Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley. 

Authorities warned residents that more bombs may be planted in the city or en route to homes from mail facilities.

Police also said it’s not yet clear whether the suspect had an accomplice.

The suspect is accused of planting four bombs in packages in Austin, killing two people and injuring four others.

Manley said the suspect also is responsible for a package bomb that exploded at a FedEx near San Antonio, and officials said it was intended to be delivered to Austin.

Earlier this week, police suggested the serial bombings were racially motivated and targeted people of color. But police have backed off that theory.

“We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did,” Manley said.

Cat Hair, Cigarettes Lead FBI to Woman Accused of Sending Bomb to Obama

Cat photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cat hair and a pack of cigarettes helped lead the FBI to a woman accused of sending a bomb to President Obama, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Social Security Administration near Baltimore.

Julia Poff, who is accused of sending the improvised explosive devices, was captured after the FBI found several unusual clues, RT.com reports.

“Cat hair was found under the address label,” the indictment reads. “The cat hair on the Obama package was microscopically consistent with the hair of one of Poff’s cats.”

The FBI also found remains of a cigarette box used to make one of the bomb, and on the pack was a sticker that identified the store where the tobacco was purchased. Bank statements show Poff bought cigarettes at the same store.

Poff is being held pending trial and could be sentenced to life in prison or death.

Father of NY Bombing Suspect Accused FBI of ‘Punishing’ His Family

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has accused the FBI of “punishing” his family for the accusations against his son.

Mohammed Rahami told the Associated Press that his family is barred from traveling to the U.S. and that the FBI has made “mistake after mistake.”

The father said the FBI failed to act when he told investigators in 2014 that he had suspicions of his son after he returned from trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The FBI, however, disputes those claims, saying the father never raised the issue of his son’s potential interest in terrorism.

Rahami said his wife and one of his sons were prevented from traveling to Afghanistan to the U.S.

His son was arrested for allegedly planting bombs in New York and New Jersey, injuring 31 people last month.

“My son’s bad act damaged our repute, it defamed my motherland and it caused bad impression about Islam, which stands for peace,” the father said.

Bombing Suspect’s Father Said He Warned FBI in 2013 That His Son Had Become Radicalized

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of the key suspect in the bombings in New York and New Jersey said he warned the FBI in 2014 that his son had become radicalized and “bad.”

The father, Mohammad Rahami, said his son, Ahmad Khan Rahami, changed after visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2013, ABC News reports. 

“I found a change in his personality. His mind was not the same. He had become bad and I don’t know what caused it but I informed the FBI about it,” he said.

Saying he didn’t believe the FBI took action against his son, the elder Rahami said he is sickened by what his son’s alleged actions.

“I condemn the act of my son and I am sad over injuries caused to people,” he said, adding that he was cooperating fully with investigators.

The son is an Afghan-born U.S. citizen who has been predominately unconscious and incubated since undergoing surgery.

Bombing Suspect Was Investigated by FBI in 2014 After Father Expressed Concerns

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old man accused of placing bombs in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend, was the subject of an FBI investigation more than two years ago.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI received a tip from Rahami’s father, who expressed concerns about his son, prompting an investigation that included interviews and a review of internal databases.

At the time, the FBI concluded no evidence of “ties to terrorism.”

Rahami’s father spoke to reporters recently and said his son was violent toward family members “for no reason.”

FBI agents “found nothing” during the investigation, according to an official who spoke to the Post.