PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man who threatened to slaughter FBI agents and “water the trees of liberty” with their blood on social media last week after the search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate was arrested by federal authorities on Monday.

Adam Bies, 46, of Mercer, faces one count of influencing, impeding or retaliating against federal law enforcement officers — a charge punishable by up to six years in prison.

His arrest comes amid heightened concern over the violent rhetoric spreading on pro-Trump internet forums against FBI agents, which may have played a role in two attacks last week involving other men with Pennsylvania ties.

Bies, who works as a “travel and adventure photographer” under the professional alias Adam Kenneth Campbell, first came to the FBI’s attention due to a series of threats he began posting on the right-wing platform Gab two days after the Mar-a-Lago search. It was not clear from court filings whether he’d retained an attorney.

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According to a criminal complaint filed in his case, the bureau’s domestic terrorism tracking group flagged posts from his account “BlankFocus,” including one in which said his only goal was to kill as many agents as he could before he dropped.


“Every single piece of [expletive] who works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director down to the janitor who cleans their [expletive] toilets deserves to die,” he wrote Wednesday, according to the filing. “You’ve declared war on us and now it’s open season.”

Moments later, he added: “HEY FEDS. We the people cannot WAIT to water the trees of liberty with your blood.”

In the days that followed, Bies compared the FBI to the Nazi SS and the Soviet-era KGB. After apparently viewing a segment Thursday on Fox News about similar threats proliferating on platforms like Gab, Bies allegedly tagged Gab CEO Andrew Torba in a post.

“Why don’t you send them my threats so that they’d at least have something credible to show on Fox News?” he asked. ‘I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, you deserve to die.”

Later that day, he posted: “When we decide we’ve had enough and tell them we are going to slaughter THEM, you get banned from Gab.”

Gab, popular with far-right extremists and believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory due to its loose moderation, has come under attack in recent years among critics who say it fosters the type of inflammatory rhetoric that can lead to actual violence.


Last month, a consulting deal it entered with GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano that involved automatically signing up all new members to follow his account drew scrutiny.

But according to the affidavit in Bies’ case, Gab sent details on his posting history and private chat logs to federal investigators in response to an emergency disclosure request last week. Among them was a chat message in which Bies noted he used a fake name professionally and on the site “so that corporate Murica’ can’t google me out of a job.”

Still, Bies appeared to make no effort to hide his extremist views on the platform.

“I threw away my 25-year career in software and marketing after refusing the [coronavirus] vaccine, in order to pursue a career as an internet troll funded by my own art,” he wrote in his bio on the site.

His professional photography website features a lengthy history of his disappointment with various jobs he’s previously held and financial instability he blames on the forces shaping the American economy.

His Gab posts run the gamut from rants against mask mandates to incendiary diatribes against inflation.


But Bies’ posts are just one example of what federal officials have described as an “unprecedented” level of violent threats and calls for “civil war” or “armed rebellion” following the Aug. 8 Mar-a-Lago search as part of an investigation into Trump’s alleged possession of classified documents.

Federal authorities say concern about the potential for right-wing violence is particularly acute in Pennsylvania, home to several extremist groups and more than 70 of those charged with participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

On Friday, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint intelligence briefing warning of specific threats lodged on social media, including one to place a “dirty bomb” outside of the bureau’s headquarters in Washington.

That followed an attack Thursday on the FBI’s offices in Cincinnati by Pennsylvania-native Ricky Shiffer, 42, who was killed in a standoff with authorities after trying to breach the building with a nail gun and an AR-15 style rifle.

On Sunday, another man with Pennsylvania ties — Richard Aaron York III, 29 — shot himself after ramming his car into barricades outside the Capitol building and firing several shots into the air. He’d lived in Northampton County before moving in with his mother in Delaware following a 2020 conviction for assault.

Like them, Bies predicted in his postings that he’d meet a violent end.


“I’m ready for the inevitable,” he wrote on Thursday, just hours after Shiffer’s attack on the FBI office in Cincinnati. “I already know I’m going to die at the hands of these … law enforcement scumbags. My only goal is to kill more of them before I drop.”

He added: “I will not spend one second of my life in their custody.”

He was scheduled to appear in court Monday, where prosecutors have asked a judge to detain him until trial.