Militia Members Plotted To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer, FBI Says

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, shown here last month, was allegedly a target of a milita’s kidnapping plot.

Michigan Governor’s Office via AP


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Michigan Governor’s Office via AP

In addition to the six people facing federal charges, state charges have been lodged against another seven who are either members of Wolverine Watchmen or are associates of that militia, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says. They’re now facing 19 state felony charges that range from gang membership and providing material support for terrorist acts to charges of carrying a firearm during the commission of a felony.

«There has been a disturbing increase in anti-government rhetoric and the re-emergence of groups that embrace extremist ideologies,» Nessel said on Thursday. «These groups often seek to recruit new members by seizing on a moment of civil unrest and using it to advance their agenda of self-reliance and armed resistance. This is more than just political disagreement or passionate advocacy, some of these groups’ mission is simply to create chaos and inflict harm upon others.»

The alleged kidnapping conspiracy is described in the complaint signed by FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask, whose past work includes fighting domestic terrorism.

«In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components,» Trask says in the complaint.

The group included Fox and Croft – who decided they should get others to join their cause and «take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,» Trask says.

In early June, Fox and Croft met with around 13 people in Dublin, Ohio, the complaint says.

«The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient. They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions,» the complaint says. «At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Whitmer. Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.»

Once again, the decision was made to recruit others into the effort, Trask says in the complaint. That’s when Fox reached out to a Michigan-based militia group, he adds. One of the group’s members had already been in touch with the FBI over their concerns about plans to target and kill police officers.

With a new conspiracy allegedly taking shape, that person agreed to become an informant, the complaint says.

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