by WorldTribune Staff, January 11, 2022
A 22-year-old man decked out in Antifa gear and carrying an active pipe bomb was arrested as he attempted to enter a Florida rally held last week in support of Jan. 6 detainees.
Garrett James Smith was arrested on charges of making and possessing a destructive device and loitering. He remains in jail on a bond of $300,000, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who was the keynote speaker at the Tampa rally:
“The fact is we have a legitimate domestic terrorist, a radical leftist pipe bomber, showing up to the rally in order to kill a bunch of people while wearing Antifa gear.”
Police say a search of Smith’s home – which he shares with his parents – revealed more explosives, tape and nails for grenades, and a “direct action” checklist that included Antifa iconography.
Smith had recently returned to his parents’ Florida home after spending an unknown period of time in Portland, Oregon.
Included on the “direct action checklist” police found at Smith’s home: Typical “black bloc” tactical gear used by Antifa, a “black umbrella” which is used by Antifa members to obscure themselves from security cameras and deflect less than lethal crowd control projectiles, a gas mask, a baton, lighters, pepper spray, “flammable rags,” a “firework satchel” and “construction nails.”
Sabatini said he believes Smith was radicalized by leftist media: “They know their narratives and rhetoric spur these types of extremists to plan methodical killings, and yet they have no regret. They pay no attention to the effects of their actions, and that is disturbing and disgraceful. The media is willing to knowingly drum up this type of extremist.”
Sabatini hailed the rapid police response from Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and his department, saying the response should give conservatives reason to feel safe, and said that the foiled attack should not keep conservatives from expressing political opinions in public.
“Don’t let the radical Left and the true domestic terrorists instill fear upon the peaceful, patriotic Americans those who stand up for the U.S. Constitution,” said Sabatini. “This country was founded by great patriots who stood against enormous danger and peril to create a free society, and the enemies of freedom have never gone away since the beginning of this country. They’re more concentrated than they’ve ever been, but they’ve always been here.”
Sabatini said of Smith: “People like him who want to destroy freedom, kill free people, and destroy this self governing Republic, it’s the duty of every American to stand against them.”