For all of the high-tech tools at the FBI’s disposal, it was old-fashioned law enforcement work that led to the quick arrest of a Florida man accused of mailing pipe bombs, former investigators said Friday.
Law enforcement investigators arrested Cesar Sayoc (pictured above left) on Friday morning and charged him with five federal offenses. He stands accused of sending crude pipe bombs to CNN and a number of prominent Democratic leaders, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Terry Turchie, a former FBI counterintelligence officer, said Friday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that decades-old technology — fingerprints — matched a package to the suspect.
“It’s really tremendous when you can find intact devices,” he said. “Also, it indicates [that] no matter how complicated, you have to make sure you stay with shoe leather and police work and pay attention to the tedious.”
Turchie added that investigators were fortunate Sayoc previously had been arrested and, therefore, had fingerprints in the system.
“This man, of course, has been arrested off and on, and spent time in prison his whole life,” he said. “So they were able to at least start the ball rolling with that. It was a big break.”
“This would have taken weeks. But because of that one decision, he had a very good cooperative network of law enforcement agencies that led us to where we are today.”
Steve Rogers, a former member of an FBI terrorism task force, credited President Donald Trump with ordering the FBI to place large numbers of agents on the case.
“He deployed thousands of agents, thousands of man hours,” he said. “This would have taken weeks. But because of that one decision, he had a very good cooperative network of law enforcement agencies that led us to where we are today.”
Turchie said a lesser-known federal agency, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, also deserves a great deal of credit.
“They can actually look at an envelope, and you’d just be amazed at the kind of things they can tell you,” he said.
Added Turchie, “It is incredible. They’re a great agency, and we don’t talk about them enough.”
A pair of conservatives said on “The Ingraham Angle” that media critics of Trump have been too quick to assign blame for Sayoc’s actions.
“It is completely irresponsible to say that it has anything to do with the quote-unquote, ‘deplorables,’ as Hillary [Clinton] called us who support Donald Trump, or Donald Trump himself,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
Schlapp said Sayoc’s support of Trump — highlighted by his social media postings and van adorned with pro-Trump bumper stickers — proved irresistible to the media.
“They just jump right to it. I happen to think that the American people are pretty fair, and they realize that there are people that are unbalanced, to put it nicely, across the country,” he said. “And this person is just a lone wolf person.”
Herman Cain, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, agreed.
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“They look for any and all indications to blame President Trump for something, to blame his rhetoric for inspiring anything that goes on,” he said. “They have totally ignored all of the harassing rhetoric that has been spewed forth by Democrats that they said nothing about. They didn’t want to discourage it.”
David Morey, a Democratic consultant and former special adviser to the Department of Homeland Security, declined to take a swipe at Trump. He declared the president’s remarks in the White House on Friday as “excellent,” and added that both sides of the partisan divide need to cool it.
“The crazies on the Left and the Right ought to calm down,” he said. “That’s what I think this ought to teach us.”