Federal authorities arrested Margaret Aislinn Channon, a Tacoma, Wash., woman, who was seen on video torching five police cars during the protests in Seattle.
ATF and other agents tracked her through her social media accounts to her home in Tacoma where she was arrested.
Federal authorities in full SWAT gear took the 25-year-old woman into custody without incident, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
A neighbor near the home in the 8400 block of South G Street reported hearing explosions during the raid.
The woman was identified from photos and videos by her numerous and distinctive tattoos, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. The videos came from Seattle police, surveillance cameras, broadcast news video and social media posts.
“This defendant was captured by multiple cameras using an accelerant, lit like a blowtorch, to start fires in five vehicles — putting the public at risk and creating the very real possibility of a structure fire amidst the throng of people protesting downtown,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran.
A valuable lesson to looters and arsonists: hide your tattoos and scrub your social media accounts.
Some of the woman’s tattoos linked her to a missing person report in Texas in 2019. Investigators found her social media accounts to confirm her identity and later determine her address in Tacoma.
A search warrant for Channon’s Tacoma home confirmed her distinctive tattoos in the videos. Authorities seized clothing and accessories that appear in some of the videos from the arsons.
Channon could spend up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted of arson charges.
Channon’s missing person report doesn’t shed much light on how the Texas woman ended up in Seattle.
Channon had been reported as a missing adult out of Brewster County, Texas, in 2019. Details in that missing persons report, including descriptive tattoo information, one of which details a tattoo of the letters “W-A-I-F” on her fingers, provided federal investigators with a name and identifying information to cross reference with other video and photographic images in the case.
Photos and videos obtained during the protest from area stores’ video surveillance systems, public photos on social media, and police cameras were also cross referenced with photos on Channon’s social media accounts.
Someone cared enough about her to file a report when she wasn’t seen. At some point, she reunited with her family, according to this missing person site. Whether it was before her arrest or not isn’t clear.
She sounds like the perfect Antifa recruit: a troubled young woman, easily manipulated and susceptible to suggestion. Whether she was a member or not is unknown, but she certainly appears to have adopted the same violent attitude as others.