Federal law enforcement officials arrested a self-described “hardcore leftist” and alleged Antifa supporter last week for allegedly issuing a call to arms for a violent attack on pro-Trump protesters at Florida’s Capitol.
Authorities “arrested Daniel Baker of Tallahassee for transmission, in interstate commerce, of a communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure,” U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced in a statement. “Baker issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront protestors gathered at the Florida Capitol this Sunday. He specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the Capitol complex using firearms.”
The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors shows that Baker describes himself as a “hardcore leftist” and allegedly has shown support for Antifa, a far-left extremist group. The criminal complaint also said that Baker participated in the far-left protests over the summer which included joining the “CHOP/CHAZ movement in Seattle, Washington during the summer of 2020.” The charging document says that Baker used “social media as a way to promote, circulate, encourage and educate followers on how to incapacitate law enforcement officers while at a protest.”
Charging documents highlight alleged social media posts from Baker where Baker calls for people to take up arms against President Donald Trump and called for “Trump terrorists” to be corralled “into the Capitol building.”
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida added:
Baker, a former U.S. Army Airborne infrantryman who was kicked out of the service, has a history of expressing his belief in violent tactics. In recent days his social media posts had escalated significantly. He specifically expressed an intent to violently disrupt protests occurring between now and Inauguration Day next Wednesday, January 20, and was actively recruiting others to join him. …
After approximately one year in the Army, Baker received an other-than-honorable discharge in 2007 after he went AWOL before his unit was to deploy to Iraq. In 2017, he joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group fighting in Syria against ISIS and the Turkish government. He claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he can be seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants. 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.
Baker can be seen in photos and YouTube videos with a variety of firearms, including those with high-capacity magazines. Social media posts also show that he was actively attempting to purchase additional firearms within the last 24-48 hours. A chronological account of Baker’s social media posts, along with additional information about his self-declared attempts to incite violence at past protests, can be found in the affidavit below.
“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” Lawrence Keefe, United States 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.”
“This arrest serves as a message to anyone who intends to incite or commit violence in the Northern District of Florida: If you represent a threat to public safety, we will come for you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Keefe continued. “Daniel Baker’s actions show that he is a dangerous extremist, and 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 to the people of our District.”