Trump supporter arrested for pipe bombs, mentioned attacking Twitter, Fb
A California man charged with possession of five pipe bombs spoke during a discussion on the “war” to ensure former President Donald Trump stays in the White House, targeting Democrats, and social Media giants Twitter and Facebook.
“I want to blow up such a bad Democratic building,” Napa County’s man Ian Benjamin Rogers wrote in a text message listed in a criminal complaint in federal court in California listing a wide variety of firearms, ammunition, equipment for the manufacture of bombs and warfare manuals in his possession.
“The Democrats have to pay,” wrote Rogers, owner of the UK auto repair shop in the Napa Valley.
In another text message, Rogers said he was “thinking of the Sac Office’s first target,” which an FBI agent suspects was the Sacramento office of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“Then maybe Bird and Face Offices,” wrote Rogers, according to the complaint filed in federal court for the Northern District of California.
“Sorry it came to that, but I’m not going down without a fight … These commies need to be told what’s going on.”
The agent said the text appears to refer to Twitter, whose logo is a blue bird, and Facebook “because both social media platforms blocked Trump’s accounts to prevent him from sending messages on those platforms,” briefly After the January 6 uprising, the US Capitol was loved by a crowd of its supporters.
Rogers wrote in another text in which Trump was apparently the 45th president: “I hope 45 goes to war, if he doesn’t I will.”
Rogers admitted during an interview with FBI agents that “he built the pipe bombs but said they were for entertainment purposes only,” the complaint read.
However, the complaint states that these and other text messages suggest that Rogers mistakenly believed Trump won the 2020 presidential election and “his intention to attack Democrats and Democrat-affiliated venues to ensure Trump stays in office.”
“I continue to believe that the messages express Rogers’ intention to commit acts of violence locally in the absence of an organized ‘war’ to prevent Joe Biden from assuming the presidency,” the FBI agent wrote.
The agent noted that Rogers wrote in a January 10 text message, “We can attack Twitter or the Democrats you choose … I think we can either attack easily.”
When the person he texted suggested, “Let’s go after Soros” – well-known liberal investor George Soros – Rogers replied that Twitter or Democrat would be “easy” now, while “Soros” was on a “road trip” would require. “said the complaint.
The complaint said that the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Napa Special Investigations Bureau raided Rogers’ home and business on Jan. 15 and found a large gun safe in his shop that contained several weapons and the five pipe bombs.
Other items found in the safe were materials used to create destructive devices, including gunpowder, pipes and end caps.
Authorities also found manuals, The Anarchist Cookbook, US Army Improvised Munitions Handbook, and Homemade C-4: A Recipe for Survival, as well as the US Army Special Forces Guide to Unconventional Warfare and the manual included the Army’s Guerrilla Warfare Handbook.
A Nazi flag was also found in his safe, according to a prosecutor.
In total, the authorities confiscated 49 firearms from his home and business, including around two dozen ammunition boxes with thousands of rounds of ammunition.
One of the firearms is “an apparently kit-built MG-42 belt-drive machine gun that can fire fully automatically,” says the complaint.
The MG-42 during World War II was made in Germany and used by Nazi forces.
According to the criminal complaint, a sticker on a Rogers vehicle has a symbol for the anti-government group of three percent.
Rogers is not being charged in connection with the attack on the Capitol by the thousands of Trump supporters who made violent but botched efforts to get Congress to reject Joe Biden’s election as president. Five people died in connection with the riot, including a Capitol policeman who was beaten by people in the crowd.
The FBI continues to search for people who left two pipe bombs in front of the national headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees on the same day in the riot.
In addition to federal charges of illegal possession of an unregistered destructive device, Rogers is facing charges in state court of possessing illegal or unregistered firearms, authorities said.
A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.
Facebook did not have an immediate comment.
– CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to this report.