October 2, 2023


A man with numerous firearms and materials to make an explosive was arrested Thursday in former President Barack Obama’s Washington, DC, neighborhood after claiming on an internet livestream that he had a detonator, law enforcement officials told CNN.

Taylor Taranto, who had an open warrant for his arrest related to the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and federal law enforcement. He has been charged with being a fugitive from justice.

“Arresting officers requested MPD’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team to perform a vehicle sweep of the individual’s van near the location of the arrest,” the MPD said in a statement to CNN. “There is no active threat to the community and this incident remains under investigation.”

According to law enforcement officials, firearms and materials to make Molotov cocktails were found in Taranto’s car. There is currently no indication of a direct threat to the Obamas, law enforcement officials told CNN.

A spokesperson for the Obamas declined to comment.

The United States Capitol Police “assisted in the investigation due to a concern for public safety and the potential for violence against Members of Congress,” said Jason Bell, acting assistant chief for protective and intelligence operations, said in a statement. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces is continuing the investigation into Taranto’s actions.

Taranto has no fixed address, according to MPD.

Taranto is also a defendant in a civil suit filed by the estate of former MPD officer Jeffrey Smith, who died by suicide in the days following the January 6 attack.

In court filings related to the ongoing suit, Taranto admitted to being inside the Capitol during the attack, but denied any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit alleges that Taranto aided in the attack of Smith during the Capitol riot by handing a cane or crowbar to another rioter, who allegedly used the weapon to attack Smith. Taranto’s actions contributed to Smith’s death, the lawsuit alleges.

The allegations, Taranto wrote, are “made up.”

Taranto, in court documents, said he went inside the Capitol that day but claimed he was acting as a “press agent” who covers left-wing protesters.

Taranto wrote he was “allowed into the Capitol without resistance” by Capitol police and claimed “the doors to the Capitol were open.”

He also claimed in court filings that he was assaulted by police inside the Capitol.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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