Powered by Topple

‘Hardcore leftist’ nabbed by FBI for allegedly plotting violent attack on Trump supporters at Fla capitol

Powered by Topple

The FBI has arrested a man accused of plotting a violent attack against supporters of President Donald Trump at Florida’s capitol building in Tallahassee following this month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Agents arrested Daniel Alan Baker, a self-described “hardcore leftist,” on Friday after authorities claim that he issued a “call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront” Trump supporters at the Florida Capitol, WPTV reported.

The FBI alerted state and local authorities last week that there could be armed protests in various state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Tuesday, following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol Building as Congress met to certify the Electoral College results.

“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the FBI said in a bulletin issued to law enforcement agencies around the country, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.

In late December, the FBI sent out a bulletin warning of a potential that armed protesters could target state legislatures.

“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve,” the bureau said in a statement. “Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity.”

The FBI added that officials aren’t honing in on peaceful demonstrations but rather “on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

As for Baker, a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman who was discharged from the service over a history of espousing violent tactics, federal prosecutors are alleging that after the U.S. Capitol riot he expressed intentions to use them to disrupt anti-Biden protests ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration. They also allege that Baker was attempting to recruit like-minded individuals to join him.

Prosecutors also said that Baker took part in several protests last year and that he attempted to promote and encourage followers on “how to incapacitate and debilitate law enforcement officers.”

Federal authorities have described Baker as a “dangerous extremist” who noted on his social media that he was planning additional firearms purchases this week.

“The law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats,” Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said in a statement, WPTV reported.

He was arrested in Tallahassee Friday without incident, officials said. He currently faces a charge of transmitting a communication threat across state lines to kidnap or injure others.

Keefe said that in arresting Baker, the FBI “averted a crisis.”

“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” he added.

GOP officials in Florida have urged the president’s supporters to avoid protests at the state capital this weekend, the Sun-Sentinel reported, adding that Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated elements of the National Guard ahead of possible protests.

Jon Dougherty

Comments

Latest Articles