Cesar Altieri Sayoc was arrested October 26, 2018, after he was accused of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to high-profile targets. The intended victims included former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, former CIA director John Brennan and CNN’s New York City headquarters. Luckily, none of the bombs detonated. Investigators caught up to Sayoc in Plantation, Florida.
Sayoc denied responsibility and then refused to answer questions without an attorney present. He faces nearly 50 years behind bars if convicted on five federal charges. You can read more about the investigation and Sayoc’s arrest here.
After his arrest, more details emerged about Sayoc’s background and political leanings. His social media accounts revealed that Sayoc had an affinity for writing threatening messages to people who shared opposing views. In some of those posts, he weaved in the notion that he was part of the Seminole nation.
A Spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Clarified That There Was No Record of Cesar Sayoc Being Either a Member or an Employee of the Tribe
A spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Gary Bitner issued a statement following Cesar Sayoc’s arrest on October 26. Bitner relayed that Sayoc had multiple variations of his name, but that none of them were found to belong to the Seminole nation. He acknowledged that it was possible Sayoc could have been associated with a vendor company that did business with the Seminoles, but there was no connection beyond that.
“We can find no evidence that Cesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri Sayoc, Ceasar Altieri Randazzo (Facebook) or Julus Cesar Milan (Twitter) is or was a member or employee of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, or is or was an employee of Seminole Gaming or Hard Rock International. At this time, we cannot verify if he is or was an employee of a vendor company.”
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has more than 4,000 members in its community, according to Forbes. On its website, the tribe states that it was the “only tribe in America who never signed a peace treaty.”
The Seminoles initially avoided displacement because Florida was controlled by Spain. But the United States government kept expanding further south, and Spain ceded the territory in 1821. The U.S. attempted to overtake the Seminoles but never achieved full victory. By 1842, as the Seminoles explain on the history section of the official website, the United States had spent more than $20 million in military efforts against the southern tribe and lost more than 1,500 soldiers in the process. President John Tyler ceased military action, despite the lack of a peace treaty. The Seminoles survived into the 20th century by living off the land in the swamp.
Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act in 1934. It recognized the right of Native American tribes to govern themselves. In 1957, the Seminoles drafted a constitution. They set up a government comprised of two levels: the Tribal Council and the Board of Directors. Each reservation had elected officials. Also in 1957, Congress officially recognized the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Sayoc Referenced Being Part of the ‘Unconquered Seminole Tribe’ In Several Posts
Cesar Sayoc’s social profiles were suspended following his arrest. But screen grabs were saved and shared online before the accounts were taken down. In several posts, Sayoc referenced that he was part of the “Unconquered Seminole Tribe.”
For example, on October 24, he tweeted a message aimed at TMZ. The message had to do with why he felt Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum should not become the next governor of Florida. He wrote in part, “We Unconquered Seminole, Tribe,entire Hard Rock,Millions of our custom say absolutely NO to Andrew Gillum can’t handle his own city Tallahassee,Fl Leon county highest crime ever 4 yrs 70.60%in state Fla.Gillum plan tax all businesses 40%, that stop business.Under FBI investigation.”
A few weeks prior, Sayoc wrote a threat against producer Ron Howard. “Hey slime sack you movie and u puppet suck.U like make threat Beverly Hills bitch.We Unconquered Seminole Tribe are going answer your threats pathetic scum.We have air boat tour of our Swamp Everglades.Hug your loved ones real close everytime U leave your home.See u soon silence.”