Last night, the FBI announced they had thwarted a plan to abduct and overthrow Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Democrat Whitmer has become a recent target particularly for coronavirus sceptics since she has enforced strict measures, which were over turned by a judge last week.
Officials revealed the kidnapping plot involved six men- five from Michigan and one from Delaware- are being charged in a federal court of plotting the kidnap and reportedly planned to hold a “treason trial” for her.
A sworn FBI affidavit said an undercover law enforcement officer attended a meeting in June In Dublin, Ohio, where a group of Michigan-based members discussed overthrowing state governments “that they believed were violating the US Constitution.”
The document also states several members had suggested murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking a sitting governor’.
Thirteen people were arrested by investigators, with the other seven facing charges of terrorism and gang-related offences in a state court in connection with the supposed abduction plot.
The men, who met in an underground basement only accessible by a trap door, had planned to recruit around 200 men to storm the capital building taking hostages including the governor.
They plan was due to be enacted before the November presidential election. If this plot failed, the men had planned to attack the governor at home, according to officals.
The US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan said the accused “co-ordinated surveillance of the governor’s vacation home” and the men has also planned Molotov cocktail attacks on police officers, had purchased tasers and together, bought explosives and tactical equipment.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said besides the kidnapping charges of seven members of the so called “wolverine watchmen”, the men will be charged in a state court with gang affiliation and providing material support to terrorists.
Nessel said the arrested member had hoped to start a civil war.
It has been reported the accused have links with a militia group called the ‘Boogaloo Bois’, where members are against law enforcement- some have been arrested for killing police officers.
The term ‘Boogaloo’ is sometimes referred to a civil war but despite a hatred of big governments they are often pro-Trump, which might explain why their anger is more often than not focused on state governments.
The group has grown significantly online and it is relatively easy to find Boogaloo videos online, as hashtags change quickly and it is hard ot keep up.
Michigan State Police director Colonel Joe Gasper said in a statement announcing the arrests: “Michigan law enforcement officers are untied in our commitment to rooting out terrorism in any form and we will take swift action against anyone seeking to cause violence or harm in our state”
In a press conference, Governor Whitmer said: “… when I took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard.
“But I’ll be honest, I could never have imaged anything like this.”
Governor Whitmer also called out President Trump after his refusal to condemn White Supremacy during the Presidential Debate last week:
“Stand back and Stand by he told them… hate groups heard the presidents words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, a call to action.
When our leaders speak, their words matter, they carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternise with domestic terrorists they legitimise their actions.”
She continue: “Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan. If you break the law or conspire to commit heinous acts of violence against any one, we will find you, we will hold you accountable and we will bring you to justice.”
President Trump supported protests in Michigan in April, tweeting “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and a month later armed protestors who opposed the lockdown stormed the capitol building.
Michigan attorney general confirmed that two men who were arrested were photographed at the protest in May.
On Thursday night, President Trump, looked to take credit for the federal investigators eliminating the proposed threat to Governor Whitmer tweeting: “Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist – while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities,”
Michigan could prove to be pivotal in the outcome of next month’s presidential election with Joe Biden, Democratic presidential nominee condemning militias as “a genuine threat” and President Trump’s “liberate” tweet had encouraged militias.
Governor Whitmer’s lockdown orders drew a huge number of protestors to the state capital. However, last Friday the state’s Supreme Court ruled the Governor did not have the legal authority to issue emergency executive orders and that reasonability belonged to the state’s legislature.
Feature Image Credit: – NBC News