- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2021

Kevin Strong, a Federal Aviation Administration employee from California, was arrested and charged after confessing to breaching the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Charging documents released by the Justice Department make the FAA employee among the latest additions to a growing list of more than 100 people so far accused of crimes related to storming the Capitol.

Notably, the FBI said it opened an investigation into Mr. Strong on Dec. 30, 2020, precisely one week before the Capitol building was breached while both the House of Representatives and Senate convened.

Authorities initiated that investigation late last month upon receiving a report from someone who said that Mr. Strong had started “stock-piling items and telling others to get ready for Marshal Law [sic], rioting and protesting,” an FBI special agent wrote in an affidavit that was made public by the Justice Department along with the announcement of his arrest Friday.

The person who alerted the FBI also said Mr. Strong had sent messages about World War 3 happening on Jan. 6 and hung a flag associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory movement at his home, the agent wrote.

“He had recently purchased a new truck and believed that QAnon would cover the debt,” the FBI agent wrote in an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint and arrest warrant for Mr. Strong.

Mobs ultimately stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 while members of Congress met inside to count the electoral votes and thus formalize the results of the recent White House race won by President Biden.

The FBI was contacted the next day, Jan. 7, by another FAA employee who said they saw Mr. Strong in news coverage that showed the Capitol being stormed, the FBI special agent wrote in the affidavit.

The FBI later interviewed another person who knows Mr. Strong and similarly identified him as being inside the Capitol during the breach, the agent wrote.

Media outlets also photographed the suspect inside the Capitol, the agent wrote. Mr. Strong is “particularly identifiable in photos,” the FBI agent noted, on account of him being roughly 6‘6” or 6‘7” tall.

The FBI served a search warrant at Mr. Strong‘s residence in Beaumont, in Riverside County, on Jan. 16, and he was interviewed about the Capitol breach and confessed to taking part, the agent wrote.

Mr. Strong also provided videos and photos that he took inside the Capitol, and he admitted posing for a “selfie” outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but then deleting it, the agent wrote.

“Strong clarified that he did not do any damage or attack law enforcement,” the agent wrote.

The Justice Department said Mr. Strong has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A database of federal court cases did not list a lawyer for Mr. Strong who could be reached for comment.

Mr. Strong was described in the affidavit, dated Jan. 21, as being currently employed by the FAA in San Bernardino. The Washington Times found a LinkedIn profile for an individual with Mr. Strong’s name and likeness that says they have been an ATSS, or airway transportation system specialist, since Jan. 2009.

The FAA told The Times that it reported the situation to the FBI and is supporting its investigation. “We will take the appropriate action based on information we have,” a spokesperson said in an email.

Among the scores of people facing charges in connection with the Capitol breach are several with clear links to QAnon, a delusional conspiracy theory movement that developed on the internet in late 2017.

“Central to the QAnon conspiracy theory is the false belief that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and child-traffickers,” an FBI agent explained in one of those cases recently.

The FBI found QAnon paraphernalia inside Mr. Strong’s home and seized the flag, the agent wrote. They also took two firearms legally owned by a relative with whom he lives.

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