Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats
The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.
Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.
- The suspected far-right extremist told the FBI he built the bombs "for entertainment purposes only," according to the complaint, filed Tuesday.
- But agents found text messages sent from the 43-year-old's phone that appeared to target Democrats, Twitter and Facebook after Trump was banned from the social media sites following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol by some of his supporters.
Zoom in: "We can attack Twitter or the democrats you pick," said one message. "We can attack Twitter and democrats easy right now burn they're s--t down."
- "I'm thinking sac office first target ... Then maybe bird and face offices," said another.
- FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor stated in the complaint that she believes "sac" refers to Newsom's Sacramento office.
- Another message stated, "I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn't I will," which Minor stated she believed was in reference to ensuring that Trump "remained in power" after his election loss.
For the record: Rogers is facing federal charges of unlawful possession of an unregistered destructive device.
- Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that he also faces 28 felony charges in state court "for possession of the explosives and weapons, including possession of an illegal silencer and multiple unregistered assault weapons."