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FBI arrests Tallahassee man for threats of violence at State Capitol ahead of Inauguration Day

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 1:08 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 1:21 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man has been arrested for issuing a call to arms to “violently confront” protesters at the Florida State Capitol this Sunday, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.

US Attorney Lawrence Keefe says FBI agents arrested Daniel Baker early Friday morning with help from the Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

According to the release, Baker made a string of posts on social media specifically calling for others to join him in encircling protesters and keeping them at the Capitol using guns.

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

Baker is scheduled to make his first court appearance virtually at 2 p.m. Friday before Magistrate Judge Charles Stampelos.

“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,” Keefe says.

Baker is a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman and was kicked out of the service after he went AWOL before his unit was supposed to deploy to Iraq in 2007, according to the release. In recent days, his social media activity escalated, as he specifically posted about wanting to violently disrupt protests happening between now and Inauguration Day.

In his posts, he was actively recruiting others to join him. Based on the FBI’s findings, Baker participated in several protests throughout the country in the summer of 2020.

“The FBI is laser focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who are intent on inciting violence or engaging in criminal activity,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “We will not tolerate those who seek to wreak havoc in our communities.”

You can find the criminal complaint against Baker, which includes documentation of his social media activity, at this link or below.

In 2017, Baker joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is a group fighting in Syria against ISIS and the Turkish government, the release says. On social media, he claimed he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he was seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants, according to the release.

“YPG is a sub-affiliate of the Kurdistan’s Working Party (PKK), which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the release says.

Several photos and YouTube videos show Baker with a variety of guns, including some with high-capacity magazines. Additionally, social media posts show he was actively trying to buy more guns within the last two days, the US Attorney’s Office says.

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