Ms. Whitmer’s coronavirus instructions sparked controversy in Michigan
The FBI says it foiled a plot to kidnap and overthrow Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Ms. Whitmer has been the target of coronavirus skeptics after taking strict mitigation measures that were overturned by a judge last week.
Officials say the kidnapping involved six men who were planning to hold a “treason trial” for them. Ms. Whitmer’s office has not yet made a comment.
In May, armed protesters against the lockdown stormed the state capital.
- Armed lockdown protesters at the Michigan Statehouse
According to an FBI affidavit, an undercover law enforcement agency attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, where a group of Michigan militia members discussed the overthrow of state governments “which they believed violated the US Constitution violated “.
“Several members spoke of murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a seated governor,” the indictment said.
Those arrested include Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Casert and Ty Garbin, whose home was searched by authorities on Wednesday.
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Media signatureThe Michigan protesters were some of the most vocal anti-lockdown opponents in the US
The group wanted to gather around “200 men” to storm the Capitol and take hostages, including the governor. They hoped to implement their plan before the November presidential election. If that failed, they planned to attack the governor at her home, officials say.
The defendant “coordinated surveillance of the governors’ vacation home,” the US attorney for the western district of Michigan said, adding that they were also planning Molotov cocktail attacks on police officers, bought a taser and pooled their resources to collect explosives Buy explosives tactical equipment.
The men – five from Michigan and one from Delaware – allegedly planned a “treason trial” against Ms. Whitmer.
Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel said that in addition to the kidnapping charges, several members of the “Wolverine Guard” militia are charged with gang affiliation and material aid to terrorists. Ms. Nessel said the militia members hoped to start a civil war.
The militiamen have conducted weapons training in several states and at times attempted to make faulty bombs, the FBI says, adding that their training was videotaped.
Numerous incidents of violence have been linked to citizen militia groups in the United States in recent years. Supporters, often white men, sometimes wave guns during protests.