FBI arrests ‘anarchist’ said to have plotted attack on Trump gatherings in Tallahassee

By: - January 15, 2021 4:34 pm

This image remained on Daniel Alan Baker’s Facebook page on the evening of Jan. 15, 2021, following his arrest for allegedly plotting to attack planned pro-Donald Trump actions in Tallahassee. Source: Facebook

Update: Near 7:30 p.m., Gov. Ron DeSantis by executive order activated the Florida National Guard to work with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to bolster security at the Capitol complex through Jan. 24.

Federal authorities have arrested a self-described anarchist on charges related to his alleged attempt to recruit the “like-minded” to violently disrupt the expected gathering by supporters of President Trump at the Florida Capitol through Inauguration Day.

The accused is Daniel Alan Baker, described in a 27-page criminal complaint as a former Army airborne infantryman who recently “has been posting messages and multimedia to his Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts that have been increasingly ripe with extremist rhetoric.”

“Baker issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront protesters 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida said in a press release.

Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Florida. Credit: Wikipedia.

“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said in a written statement.

“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,” he said.

The arrest came as Florida’s capital city nervously awaits threatened violent protests leading to Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday by supporters of Donald Trump. State leaders have urged Capitol-area employees to work from home at least through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared that the state will be ready for trouble. Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey called upon the governor on Friday to make sure of it.

“I am hopeful that we don’t experience any violence in the capital city this weekend or next week, but hope is not a plan. That is why I am requesting that Governor DeSantis deploy the National Guard to protect the Florida state Capitol,” Dailey said Friday on Twitter.

FBI agents arrested Baker without incident at his Tallahassee home Friday morning with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Tallahassee Police Department, the office said.

The government’s evidence showed “a fair probability for imminent violence,” the complaint says.

That document describes an erratic career for Baker since 2007, when he went AWOL from his Army Airborne unit as it prepared to ship out for Iraq. He received a less-than-honorable discharge and spent 2008 through 2017 homeless and unemployed in the Tallahassee area, although he reportedly worked part time as a security guard.

“In 2017, Baker joined the People’s Protection Units (“YPG”), a group fighting in against ISIS and the Turkish government. The YPG is a subaffilliate of Kurdistan’s Working Party (PKK), which has been designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the United States government. Baker endorses himself on his social media as a trained sniper for the YPG,” the complaint says.

He acknowledged providing the training in interviews with FBI agents and “overseas sources” told the agency that he’d planned to kidnap Turkish pilots training in the United States and mutilate or kill them, the complaint says.

He also participated in violence around Black Lives Matter protests over the summer in Seattle and Nashville, the document says.

In November, he set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to enroll in emergency medical technician training at Tallahassee Community College and warned: “I swear on god y’all if I can’t raise this money I will start robbing the rich and pedophiles too,” according to the complaint.

“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, and 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,” the complaint says.

The document alleges that Baker owns weapons and has attempted to gather more in recent weeks.

On Jan. 8, two days after the U.S. Capitol attack, Baker offered a cash reward for the people who attacked an AP journalist. “We have decided to handle this ourselves because the dc cops let them in and all cops are infiltrated,” he posted, according to the complaint.

The complaint also cites an online posting on Thursday titled, “Call to Arms January 20th!”

“We need all Florida residents to rise up! Here in Florida we must encircle terrorists who attack the Capitol! We will protect capital residents and civilians from armed racist mobs with every caliber available. This is an armed coup and can only be stopped by an armed community!” it said.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.