Concerned about potential violence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently activated the National Guard ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration day for President-elect Joe Biden.
And the Republican governor proved prescient. FBI agents in Tallahassee have already arrested a man for making threats of violence against protesters.
But the incident likely didn’t go as liberals had expected, or maybe hoped.
Federal agents took Daniel Alan Baker, a self-described “hardcore leftist,” into custody, saying he had made threats to kidnap and/or injure others, with an eye toward protests supporting President Donald Trump at the state Capitol on Wednesday.
He also sought to buy guns and encourage those who agreed with him to “rise up” against the “Trump terrorists.”
According to federal court records, the FBI learned about Baker in October. At the time, he was “using social media to recruit and train like-minded individuals in furtherance of his Anti-Government or Anti-Authority Violent Extremism.”
Agents maintained he had made “multiple violent threats to those he claims are white supremacists, fascists, United States persons with different ideologies than his, and allies of the United States.”
“In addition, Baker has promoted the killing of United States military officers.
As of late, Baker’s social media posts have escalated, indicating a potential for immediate threat during upcoming protests in Tallahassee.” Federal agents believed “may attempt to violently disrupt” such protests.
The FBI describes Baker as an Army veteran who received a less-than-honorable discharge after going AWOL upon being ordered to deploy to Iraq.
In recent months, Baker has taken to social media to express his “displeasure with the current events unfolding in the United States as well as social issues he believes to be plaguing the country, including police brutality.”
Baker’s more recent posts, however, have been “increasingly ripe with extremist rhetoric.”
The FBI noted that Baker lived in Tallahassee for several years until 2017 when he traveled to Turkey, where he joined a group fighting against both ISIS and the Turkish government o behalf of the Kurds. The People’s Protection Units that Baker joined have been designated as terrorists by the U.S. government.
Baker returned to the U.S. in 2019. Last summer, he joined radical demonstrators in Seattle who took over several city blocks to establish an “autonomous zone,” court records indicate. Baker posted that he wanted to participate in the “revolution.”
Baker reportedly wrote instructions to his followers on social media on how to “debilitate” cops, whom he had likened at one point to “cold blooded Nazis,” and urged them to “prepare for war,” records say.
His social media accounts included posts supporting those who protested police brutality and calling for the “destruction of America.”
On Oct. 20, he wrote a post that said, “God I hope the right tries a coup Nov 3rd cuz l’m so f—ing down to slay enemies again.”
Six weeks later, he added, “Trump still plans on a violent militant coup. If you don’t have guns you won’t survive 2021.”
On Christmas Day, he wrote, “If you dont (sic) take up arms against trump them (sic) you are coward.”
After the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Baker referred to the rioters as “terrorists.” Commenting on proposed protests in Tallahassee slated for Wednesday, Baker wrote on Jan. 12 about a plan to “encircle” and “trap” the “Trump terrorists.” “Remember that the cops won’t protect us because the cops and Klan go hand in hand! If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!”
“Floirda,” he added, “this is a call to arms.”
Lawrence Keefe, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said, “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.”
Keefe added, “Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped.”
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