Trump supporters aren’t the only ones the FBI thinks might be planning violence in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A self-described “hardcore leftist” who says he’s part of Antifa, Daniel Baker of Tallahassee, Florida was arrested by the FBI early Friday on charges of transmitting, in interstate commerce, a threat to kidnap or injure after he issued multiple calls for violence against protesters who gathered at the Sunshine State’s Capitol on Sunday, the Washington Examiner reported.
According to a statement from the Justice Department, Baker “specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the Capitol complex using firearms.”
“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” Lawrence Keefe, a U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said. “The diligent work in this case by the FBI and other public safety organizations has averted a crisis with this arrest, and we will not stop in our efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt anyone else planning to incite or commit violence.”
“Call all of your friends”
According to the Washington Examiner, Baker made his plans known on Facebook, writing:
Armed racist mobs have planted the Confederate flag in the nations [sic] Capitol while announcing their plans to storm every American state [Capitol] on or around Inauguration Day. We will fight back. We will circle the state Capitol and let them fight the cops and take the building. Then we will encircle them and trap them inside. We will drive them out of Tallahassee with every caliber available.
Baker, whose YouTube channel reportedly contained numerous references to George Soros and made claims that Baker had become a member of Antifa, also said “[t]hey are staging an armed takeover so only an armed community can stop them,” and asserted that “we have already recruited an army [of] armed combat veterans and volunteers” that would use vehicles and firearms to trap and then attack protesters.
He reportedly concluded: “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!”
Baker was not unknown to federal law enforcement. He had been present at other riots in recent months, including at the so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or “CHOP,” in Seattle in 2020, the Examiner noted.
“Force them into the light”
Baker was critical of the CHOP movement, saying that if organizers really wanted a “revolution,” they “needed to get AK’s and start making bombs,” the Examiner reported. He also said in recent posts that he wanted to buy more firearms.
Discussing the nature of the threats to Washington, D.C. and state Capitols, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “One of the real challenges in this space is trying to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional.”
Regardless of the challenges, however, the Justice Department won’t stop trying “to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said in a statement.
“While extremists who plan mayhem may skulk in the shadows, it’s important that we force them into the light and bring them to justice,” he added.