A Florida man and reportedly self-described “hardcore leftist” was arrested Friday after he called for violent protests Sunday at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee.
Daniel Baker of Tallahassee, who prosecutors said was once a member in a group registered by the federal government as a terrorist organization, was seeking to organize an attack on any protesters who might show up at the Florida Capitol on Sunday.
Baker is charged with “transmission in interstate commerce [of] a communication containing a threat to kidnap any person or threat to injure the person of another,” according to a criminal complaint.
“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” said Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. “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.”
“In these perilous times, we are steadfastly committed to being as transparent as possible about the work your government does to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law,” Keefe said. “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.”
Baker received an other-than-honorable discharge in 2007 after one year in the Army, having gone AWOL before his unit was to deploy to Iraq, according to the criminal complaint. In 2017, he joined the People’s Protection Units to fight against the Islamic State in the Syrian civil war, according to the complaint. The group is part of the Kurdistan’s Working Party, which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The complaint stated that Baker “has traveled across the United States to participate in protests that have resulted in violence to include joining the CHOP/CIIAZ movement in Seattle, Washington, and Nashville, Tennessee” during the summer of 2020.
In a video posted on Baker’s YouTube channel on Aug. 1, according to the complaint, he posted images of himself medically treating victims of a shooting in the Seattle protest zone.
The same account contained a video of what’s described as Baker acting as a sniper in Syria.
The complaint stated Baker “has posted and informed his followers on how to debilitate law enforcement officers by filling up balloons with paint and to throw them at law enforcement.
“Baker continues to threaten the use of violence in the United States and has made multiple threats to those who he claims to be white supremacists, fascists, United States persons with different ideologies than his, and allies of the United States. Baker has promoted the killing of United States military officers. In addition, Baker informed his followers on social media to prepare for war,” it stated.
The document traced some of Baker’s violent social media posts, beginning with one from Oct. 2 that read, “This is war. Are you willing to take up arms with us yet? Buy guns and join us this November. We are voting from the rooftops.”
The pace picked up last month.
“Trump still plans on a violent militant coup. If you don’t have guns you won’t (sic) survive 2021,” Baker posted on Dec. 10, according to the complaint.
“It’s time for some of you to wake up and realize trump is going to put up a fight. Some of your neighbors will shoot at you,” he posted two days later.
Two days after that, according to the complaint, Baker posted a picture to Instagram account of the words “Hospitalize your local fascist.”
In a Jan. 12 posting on Facebook according to the complaint, Baker wrote, “Death to amerikka of course, f— the president, current and elect.” That same day he created an event he called “Defend Tallahassee.”
His arrest showed authorities are serious about controlling political violence, Keefe said in the news release.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.