Americas, Middle East

US Justice Dept: 'YPG is a sub-affiliate of' PKK group

Acknowledgement comes as department announces arrest of military veteran who went to Syria to fight with YPG terror group

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 16.01.2021
US Justice Dept: 'YPG is a sub-affiliate of' PKK group

WASHINGTON

The YPG is a "sub-affiliate of" the PKK, the US Justice Department said Friday in announcing a military veteran who went to fight with the YPG has been taken into custody. 

Federal agents arrested Daniel Baker without incident early Friday morning on charges that he was inciting violence ahead of planned demonstrations this weekend at the Florida state capitol. Baker called on other individuals to join him with firearms "in encircling any protestors and confining them," the department said. 

Mass demonstrations are being planned this weekend in state capitols across the country to protest the results of the US' Nov. 3 election, which US President Donald Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden by 7 million votes. Trump has refused to accept the results and has called on his supporters to demonstrate against the certified outcome.  

“This arrest serves as a message to anyone who intends to incite or commit violence in the Northern District of Florida: If you represent a threat to public safety, we will come for you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said in a statement. “Daniel Baker’s actions show that he is a dangerous extremist, and the law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats to the people of our District. 

Baker was discharged after going AWOL from his unit in 2007 after being trained as an Army Airborne infantryman. A decade later, he joined the YPG, the Syrian branch of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization in the US, EU and Turkey.

Baker claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, according to the department.

"He claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he can be seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants. YPG is a sub-affiliate of the Kurdistan’s Working Party (PKK), which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization," the department said.

The department said Baker's social media posts indicate he was attempting to purchase firearms over the past 48 hours ahead of this weekend's rally.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

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