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Armed Man Wanted for Role in Capitol Attack Arrested Near Obama’s House

Taylor Taranto found with materials to create an explosive device a few blocks away from former president’s Washington DC home

A man armed with explosive materials and weapons, and wanted for crimes related to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, was arrested late on Thursday in the Washington DC neighborhood where the former US president Barack Obama lives, law enforcement officials said.

Taylor Taranto, 37, was spotted by law enforcement officials a few blocks from the former president’s home and fled, though he was chased by Secret Service agents. Taranto has an open warrant on charges related to the insurrection, two law enforcement officials said. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing case and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

They said Taranto also had made social media threats against a public figure. He was found with weapons and materials to create an explosive device, though one had not been built, one of the officials said.

No one was injured. It was not clear whether the Obamas were at their home at the time of the arrest.

Washington’s Metropolitan police department arrested Taranto on charges of being a fugitive from justice. The explosives team swept Taranto’s van and said there were no threats to the public.

Taranto was a US navy veteran and a webmaster for the Republican party in Franklin county, in Washington state, according to the Tri-City Herald newspaper. He told the newspaper in an interview last year that he was volunteering for the Republican party.

It was not clear what, exactly, Taranto is accused of doing in the 2021 riot, where supporters of then president Donald Trump smashed their way into the Capitol, beat police officers and pursued leading politicians, while also invading a congressional chamber in a vain effort to overturn Trump’s defeat at the 2020 presidential election before Joe Biden’s victory being certified by Congress.

More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol attack. More than 600 of them have pleaded guilty, while approximately 100 others have been convicted after trials decided by judges or juries. More than 550 riot defendants have been sentenced, with over half imprisoned.

Source: The Guardian