Florida man convicted of plotting armed attack on Trump supporters

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<p>Florida’s State Capitol in Tallahassee </p> (Michael Rivera/Wikimedia)

Florida’s State Capitol in Tallahassee

(Michael Rivera/Wikimedia)

A man in Florida was arrested and charged for plotting an attack against supporters of Donald Trump in the days before the inauguration of Joe Biden in January.

Daniel Alan Baker, a 33-year-old from Tallahassee, attempted to recruit others to take part in an attack on supporters of the former US president, according to court documents and the FBI.

In a statement on Thursday, acting US Attorney Jason R. Coody said “the defendant’s threats of armed violence to inhibit expression of political views different than his own are both unlawful and dangerous.”

“This office and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting public safety, and the jury’s verdict today has ensured that the defendant will be held accountable for his actions,” it added.

The attack was thought to be in retaliation for the insurrection of the US Capitol riot of 6 January that was carried out by Trump supporters.

Federal investigators allege that Mr Baker wanted to circle the Trump supporters and then trap them inside the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, during a pro-Trump demonstration.

Two posts calling for assistance — or a “call to arms” — were found by investigators on 12 and 14 January, in the days before a planned protest. The FBI arrested the 33-year-old on 15 January, according to court filings.

“Jurors observed social media posts in which Baker proclaimed himself as an anarchist, relayed his desire to slay his enemies, and boasted about assaulting law enforcement officers at protests in addition to his capabilities as a trained sniper,” according to court documents.

On Thursday, the 33-year-old was convicted of two counts of threatening to kidnap or injury of another person, and he is due to appear in court for sentencing on 16 August.

If convicted, a maximum five year prison sentence and a fine of £250,00 (£180,000) could follow.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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