FBI: Michigan anti-government group plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and start civil war


An anti-government group in Michigan plotted to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and start a civil war, according to the F.B.I.

Authorities charged 13 men, some of whom were accused of planning to storm the State Capitol, according to the New York Times. The men where charged with terrorism, conspirancy, and weapons charges on Thursday by Michigan state officials. At least six of them had hatched a detailed plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has become a focal point of anti-government views and anger over coronavirus control measures.

The men planning to kidnap the Governor met repeatedly over the summer for firearms training, combat drills, and to practice building explosives, according to the F.B.I. They also gathered to discuss the mission, several times in the basement of a shop that was accessible only through a trap door hidden under a rug. The men spied on Ms. Whitmer’s vacation home in August and September, even looking under a highway bridge for places they could place and detonate a bomb to distract the authorities.  They indicated that they wanted to take Ms. Whitmer hostage before the election in November, and one man said they should take her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin for a “trial,” Richard J. Trask II, an F.B.I. special agent, said in the criminal complaint.

Trask said that one of those arrested had bought a Taser for the mission last week and that the men had been planning to buy explosives on Wednesday. Court records indicated that at least five of the men had been arrested on Wednesday in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Seven other men were charged who were linked to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen, for providing material support to terrorists and other related offenses. They were planning and training to attack law enforcement officers and the state Capitol and ignite a civil war, according to the Washington Post. 


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