The FBI and state police have thwarted a plan by anti-government extremists to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to set off a “civil war” and build a new society based on the US Bill of Rights.
Thirteen men have been arrested on federal or state charges stemming from the kidnapping conspiracy, including 24-year-old Ty Garbin, whose home northwest of Detroit was raided late Wednesday by federal agents.
Six of the men, who face federal charges, contacted a Michigan militia for help in their efforts, but a member of that group agreed to become an informant out of concern that the conspirators planned to kill police officers.
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The group discussed different ways of achieving its goals of creating a new self-sufficient society. “At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the US Constitution, including the government of Michigan – and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,” according to a federal affidavit filed in the case.
One of the members, Adam Fox, allegedly complained about Michigan’s Covid-19 restrictions and referred to Whitmer as “this tyrant b***h.”
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US Attorney Andrew Birge told reporters Thursday that the conspirators used encrypted messaging and code language to avoid detection and twice surveilled Whitmer’s vacation cottage in northern Michigan after hatching a plan to kidnap her there. The men allegedly planned to set off a bomb nearby as a diversionary tactic.
The investigation of the group began earlier this year and was done in conjunction with Michigan State Police. In addition to the men arrested on federal statutes, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the filing of state terrorism and weapons charges against seven members of a militia called Wolverine Watch.
Nessel said the conspirators wanted to instigate a “civil war” by killing law enforcement officers, attacking Michigan’s Capitol building and kidnapping state officials, including Whitmer.
“The nature of this case is rather unprecedented, but it does send a very vivid reminder that while we may be in a time period of discourse,