TASS, October 8. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) thwarted a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her country home. This was reported by The Detroit News, citing representatives of the department.
According to them, there was a conspiracy to violently overthrow the government.
"Several members of the criminal group talked about killing 'tyrants' and 'taking' the incumbent governor," the FBI agent said in his affidavit.
As the newspaper notes, the investigation was initiated in early 2020, when the FBI learned through social networks that several people were discussing the violent overthrow of governments and law enforcement agencies of several states.
"They talked about creating a society that would follow the US Bill of Rights <...>– wrote the FBI agent. “They discussed different ways to achieve this goal, from peaceful attempts to violent action. At one point, several participants spoke of state governments that they believed were in violation of the US Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "
According to Reuters, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that seven people associated with the Wolverine Watchmen group ("Guardians of the Wolverine", Michigan is informally called the state of the Wolverines – approx. TASS), war "and a plot to kidnap the governor. They face life imprisonment.
At a press conference, prosecutors said the US authorities had detained 13 extremists on charges of conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and other officials, and other crimes.
The arrest of six people was reported by the federal attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Andrew Birge.
"Last night (Wednesday – approx. TASS), the FBI and Michigan State Police arrested six people who were charged by federal authorities with conspiracy to kidnap Governor Whitmer," Birge said. According to him, "Adam Fox, Berry Croft, Ty Garbin, Caleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta planned to kidnap Whitmer from her country house" ahead of the US presidential elections scheduled for November 3.
The prosecutor called the detainees "violent extremists." All six could face life imprisonment if convicted, he noted. Croft lives in Delaware, the other five in Michigan. According to Birge, the FBI launched an investigation into these individuals "earlier this year." The defendants discussed their plans on social media. Information about the conspiracy was obtained, inter alia, from "confidential sources and from undercover officers."
The conspirators, according to authorities, established surveillance of the Whitmer home and discussed the possibility of "detonating an explosive device to distract the attention of the police." They tested one such bomb filled with submunitions. During the abduction of the governor, they planned to "use an electric shock".
Nessel said at a press conference that during the "interdepartmental operation" to detain the accused, "there were no victims." The attorney general said her office also brought “additional charges” against seven individuals associated with the “paramilitary group” Wolverine Watchmen. "They are all already in custody," Nessel said.
According to her, these seven people tried to "find out the home addresses of law enforcement officers" in order to threaten them. They intended to organize an attack on the building where the state government sits, and "kidnap government officials, including the Governor of Michigan." Some of them were charged by state authorities with “aiding terrorist attacks” and illegal possession of weapons, Nessel said.
The state attorney general did not explain exactly how the seven people interacted with the six defendants Birge previously reported.
Whitmer believes that members of the two paramilitary groups were ready to not only kidnap, but also kill her. She said this on Thursday at a press conference, which was broadcast by central TV channels.
"Earlier today, Attorney General Dana Nessel, the US Department of Justice and the FBI announced federal and state charges against 13 members of two paramilitary groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me," Whitmer said.
The governor noted that "I never could have imagined something like this." She expressed her gratitude to the law enforcement officers.