Man wanted on January 6 charges arrested with weapons near Barack Obama's home

Washington police say suspect was chased by Secret Service agents

Former US president Barack Obama. AP
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A man armed with explosive materials and weapons, and wanted for crimes related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, was arrested in the Washington neighbourhood where former president Barack Obama lives, law enforcement officials said.

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

They said Mr Taranto had also made social media threats against a public figure. He was found with weapons and materials to create an explosive device, although one had not been built, one of the officials said.

No one was injured. It was not clear whether the Obamas were at home at the time of Mr Taranto's arrest.

Metropolitan Police arrested Mr Taranto on charges of being a fugitive from justice. The explosives team swept Mr Taranto's van and said there was no threat to the public.

Mr Taranto was a US Navy veteran and a webmaster for the Republican Party in Franklin County, in Washington state, according to the Tri-City Herald newspaper. He told the newspaper in an interview last year that he was volunteering for the Republican Party.

It is not clear precisely what Mr Taranto is accused of having done in the riot, where supporters of president Donald Trump smashed windows of the Capitol and beat and bloodied 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. More than 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 more than half receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from six days to 18 years.

Updated: June 30, 2023, 11:45 AM