The FBI has identified one of the most wanted perpetrators of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a man who took on a leadership role after storming the building while wearing a limited edition scarf from a city in Sweden.
The man has been referred to as “Swedish Scarf” by online investigators in the “Sedition Hunters” community who have been identifying participants in the Jan. 6 riot. The unique scarf was one of less than 1,000 given to former residents of the town of Skellefteå, Sweden, back in 2017, and the mystery of the man’s identity has drawn international attention.
His name isn’t public yet, but he’s part of an indictment against Danny Rodriguez ― the Trump fanatic who electroshocked Officer Mike Fanone ― and against Ed Badalian, a Trump supporter who went by “Trump Ed” online and was arrested earlier this month.
While there are no explicit references to “Swedish Scarf” in the indictment, a close reading of the document makes clear that he’s the suspect in question. The indictment tracks several of the actions that online sleuths discovered Swedish Scarf took on Jan. 6, including participating in the assault on law enforcement in a tunnel leading into the Capitol and later leading a group of rioters who had broken in through a window.
“Liberty or death, gentleman!” the feds say the man told officers as they tried to push rioters out of the tunnel area. “Hold the line!” he allegedly told other rioters as they battled. “Don’t surrender! Fight for Trump!” he allegedly said. “Push forward, Patriots! If you are gonna die, it best be on Capitol Hill!”
The indictment states that the man known as Swedish Scarf “led the rioters out of the initial room they had entered” and “assisted rioters who were attempting to gain access to a third office” by kicking the door and attempting to force entry. The feds say, as shown on footage, that Swedish Scarf and Rodriguez “opened bags in the office, rifled through papers on the desks, and subsequently removed escape hoods from the bags.” Swedish Scarf “carried two emergency escape hoods from the building when he exited.”
Before taking part in the riot, the man known as Swedish Scarf allegedly texted an associate that he was “at the capitol steps, it is going off, the people are breaking down the barriers, the battle has begun.”
Badalian had been identified by online sleuths in early January, about a week after the Capitol attack. He was wearing an Armenian Trump hat on Jan. 6 and was a member of the “PATRIOT 45 MAGA Gang” chat on Telegram along with Rodriguez. In one message before the riot, the indictment says he wrote that they “need to violently remove traitors and if they are in key positions rapidly replace them with able bodied Patriots.” He’s been released until his trial, with conditions.
Badalian, the feds said, called into the “War Room” show on Infowars under the pseudonym “Turbo” on Jan. 8, and was immediately followed by a woman referenced as “PERSON ONE” in the indictment who referred to him as “Ed.” “PERSON ONE” is Gina Bisignano, the Beverly Hills salon owner who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and is cooperating with the feds: She entered a guilty plea under seal a few months ago, according to a court filing.
Rodrigeuz, Badalian, and Swedish Scarf visited Bisignano’s home on Jan. 10, according to the indictment, where Swedish Scarf unplugged Bisignano’s Alexa device, and “indicated through miming” that she not speak out loud. He wrote in a notebook that he wanted “TO HELP YOU DELETE EVERYTHING AND TO TRANSFER THE FILES TO A SECURE HARD DRIVE” and later showed up to her house and asked her “to go to Best Buy with him to buy a hard drive” on which to download all of her Jan. 6 photographs and videos, according to the indictment. She did not get a hard drive and was soon arrested by the FBI.
Rodriguez ― who was arrested in March, a month after he was identified in a HuffPost story as Officer Fanone’s assailant ― didn’t give the feds the identity of Swedish Scarf during his FBI interview, but noted that he was from the LA area and that Rodriguez recognized him from other right-wing rallies.
“He doesn’t have a Swedish accent,” Rodriguez told the FBI after he was arrested in March. But he said that Swedish Scarf visited the Airbnb where a number of Capitol rioters, including Badalian, were staying.
The indictment also states that Rodriguez said he would “assassinate Joe Biden” if he got the chance and “would rather die than lie under a Biden administration,” and that he confirmed ― as he did in his FBI interview ― that he electroshocked Fanone.
“Omg I did so much fucking shit rn and got away,” he wrote in PATRIOTS 45 group chat. “Tazzzzed the fuck out of the blue.”
Rodriguez, unlike Badalian, is being held until trial. His federal public defenders are working to get his confession tossed, and there’s another hearing scheduled on Dec. 9.
The FBI has made more than 650 arrests in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, a bit over one-fourth of the total number of people who engaged in chargeable criminal conduct that day (meaning they either entered the Capitol or engaged in violence outside it). The FBI’s website features more than 350 members of the pro-Trump mob wanted for violent crimes on Jan. 6, including over 250 wanted for assault on law enforcement.