Alleged Capitol rioter charged with plotting to blow up Amazon data center

Federal law enforcement arrested a Texas man this week who is accused of attempting to blow up a data center in Virginia and allegedly boasted about his presence at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that Seth Aaron Pendley, 28, was arrested by the FBI in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday after he attempted to purchase explosives from an undercover agent.

According to an FBI affidavit filed with a federal district court in Texas, Pendley was seeking to blow up an Amazon Web Services data center in Ashburn, Va., which is about 30 miles from Washington, D.C.


In statement to The Hill, an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said: "We would like to thank the FBI for their work in this investigation. We take the safety and security of our staff and customer data incredibly seriously, and constantly review various vectors for any potential threats. We will continue to retain this vigilance about our employees and customers.”

Federal authorities said Pendley posted messages on an internet forum for militia supporters illustrating his plan and discussing the riot at the Capitol.

"I'm not a dumbass suicide bomber but even if I only have a handful of fellow patriots standing beside me I will happily die a young man knowing that I didn't allow the evils in this world to continue unjustly treating my fellow Americans so disrespectfully," Pendley allegedly wrote under the pseudonym "Dionysus."

The affidavit says that Pendley also wrote of his plans to bring a firearm with him to attend the rally of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, only to leave it in his car at the last second.

Prosecutors said a tipster had alerted law enforcement just days after the Capitol riot, sending the FBI images of Pendley's posts.

“We are indebted to the concerned citizen who came forward to report the defendant’s alarming online rhetoric. In flagging his posts to the FBI, this individual may have saved the lives of a number of tech workers,” Prerak Shah, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said in a statement. "The Justice Department is determined to apprehend domestic extremists who intend to commit violence, no matter what political sentiment drives them to do so.”

It's unclear if Pendley is represented by an attorney.

Updated 5:15 p.m.