A 52-year-old Oklahoma City man was arrested on tax day for threatening to kill people attending a taxpayer tea party protest at the state Capitol.
News of the arrest came after the Department of Homeland Security issued a controversial report warning of the increase in violent “right-wing extremism in the United States.”
According to an FBI criminal complaint, Daniel Knight Hayden, who went by the name CitizenQuasar on a popular microblogging site, threatened murder on several occasions in the run-up to tax day.
On April 11 he posted a message on Twitter that said,”The WAR wWIL [sic] start on the stepes [sic] of the Oklahoma State Capitol. I will cast the first stone.”
That message was followed by others that said, “”START THE KILLING NOW” and “After I am killed on the Capitol Steps, like a REAL man, the rest of you will REMEMBER ME!!!” He also wrote “I really don’t give a (expletive) anymore. Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the heads and throw the(m) on the State Capitol steps.”
He then wrote life wasn’t worth living in Oklahoma - without listing any reasons - feigned he has been drinking too much and posted the name and home phone number of a man he believed was a local tea party organizer, instructing his followers to “REMEMBER this name.”
The last Twitter message posted by Mr. Hayden on April 15 said, “Locked AND loaded for the Oklahoma State Capitol. Let’s see what happens.”
Special agent Michael S. Puskas wrote in his complaint that he tracked Mr. Hayden down through his computer’s IP address and his public MySpace profile.
Wired Magazine believes this is the first criminal prosecution to arise from postings on Twitter.
Liberal bloggers quickly pointed to Mr. Hayden to validate the Obama’s administation’s report about the rise of right-wing extremism. Mr. Hayden’s online posting are obviously anti-government, although his political persuasions do not appear to be linked to any party.
Several political videos are posted on Mr. Hayden’s MySpace account, including one known as a “truther” documentary, accusing President Bush of being responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
A video heavy blog by Mr. Hayden posted on April 6 suggests President Obama has hypnotized his supporters and a prominently featured quote in his profile from The Gulag Archipelago says, “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family?”
The Gulag Archipelago is a Russian book written by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitisyn that documents Stalin’s brutal forced labor system