‘Armed’ man wanted over Capitol riots arrested near Obama’s home

A man allegedly armed with explosive materials and weapons, and wanted for crimes related to the 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol, has been arrested in the Washington neighbourhood where former president Barack Obama lives, law enforcement officials have revealed.

Taylor Taranto, 37, was spotted by law enforcement a few blocks from the former president’s home and allegedly fled, though he was chased by US Secret Service agents and caught. Taranto has an open warrant on charges related to the insurrection, two law enforcement officials said.

The officials were not authorised to speak publicly about an ongoing case and only spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. They said Taranto had also made social media threats against a public figure.

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He was found with weapons and had materials to create an explosive device though one had not been built, one of the officials said. No one was injured, and it was not clear whether the Obamas were at their home at the time of his arrest.

Metropolitan Police 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.

It was not clear what, exactly, Taranto is accused of doing in the riot, where supporters of then-president Donald Trump smashed windows of the Capitol and beat police officers in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot.

Over 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 receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from six days to 18 years.

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