Cesar Sayoc Glorified Vladimir Putin, Spread Russian Propaganda

Cesar Sayoc Jr. mugshot.
Police handout

As information continues to surface about the background, life, and beliefs carried by Cesar Sayoc, the public now finds itself considering that the serial mail-bomb suspect may have been so committed to following Donald Trump’s lead that he naturally assumed the president’s alleged loyalty to Vladimir Putin as his own.

The Washington Post has reportedly come into possession of hundreds of postings that Facebook removed from the view of the public soon after Sayoc’s arrest. A red flag that was raised during the publication’s surveying of the 56-year-old Florida resident’s far-right political rants and musings on soccer and mixed martial arts came by way of a number of status updates, photos, and memes he’s shared in homage to Putin and in defense of Russia’s support of Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria. It is alleged that between the years 2015 and 2016 Sayoc also published videos and links that could be traced back to sites with pro-Kremlin propaganda.

Most of the material in question was aggregated from one of several accounts that Sayoc kept under different variations of his name. It was a page listed under the first and middle combination of “Cesar Altieri” that proved most alarming to the Washington Post investigators, who retrieved a record of its contents from Columbia University social media researcher Jonathan Albright. As Albright has pointed out, there were images that date back to 2014 on the page. Many of those same pictures made allusion to specific names and places that would seem to suggest it highly unlikely the paper was digging into a fraudulent account.

At least five instances in which Sayoc made reference to “my Russian brothers” were cited on his timeline. Including among them was one particular use of the phrase that headed a photograph of him posing beside a group of men. While the Washington Post concedes that the group may simply comprise friends, given Sayoc has resided in a suburban area of Miami that is highly populated by Russians, a post or two that notes representation of predominantly Russian cities outside of the Sunshine State raises the question as to whether authorities ought to be probing what contacts Sayoc has internationally.

“Here to my Russian Brother in Moscow, Sunny Isle Bch Fla, Brighten Bch Brooklyn NY Brain, Shashana Borus, Eric Jeweler, Macaloff USSR big Red Machine Russian hockey team best in World Big John GM our nightly place 7 star food Kitchen 305 love ya all my brother Force 4 life no group better Hard Rock Sammy enforcers, My Russian, Italian, Native, etc anyone I may left out 4 life,” noted a message that he put up on Facebook in October of 2015.

The rambling post was preceded by one that, five months earlier, appeared to just as incoherently invoke reference to Russia, only it seemed to illustrate anticipation of a catastrophic event.

“Unground city Bahamas US government preparing for end fact. Tons pipe water lines going under Bahamas 900 dirty bombs disappear from Russia planted on US soil ready for end,” Sayoc wrote in May of that year.