Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot
On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of 13 suspects accused of involvement in a domestic terror plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor of Michigan. The suspects were tied to a paramilitary militia group that called themselves the Wolverine Watchmen. An NBC News investigation into the suspects’ social media profiles found links between their ideologies and those of the broader boogaloo movement. The alleged plot developed from June through September, with the main target being Whitmer.
About Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot in brief
On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of 13 suspects accused of involvement in a domestic terror plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor of Michigan. The suspects were tied to a paramilitary militia group that called themselves the Wolverine Watchmen. Six of the suspects were charged in federal court, while the other seven were charged with state crimes. An NBC News investigation into the suspects’ social media profiles found links between their ideologies and those of the broader boogaloo movement. In March 2020, local officers from an police department in Michigan reported to the FBI that the militia was seeking addresses of officers. On October 15, a fourteenth suspect, Brian Higgins of Wisconsin, was charged at the state level with material support of an act of terrorism. The FBI said that they became aware of group chats in early 2020 threatening the violent overthrow of state governments and law enforcement. During the initial investigation of social media chats, the FBI said they encountered Barry Croft and Adam Fox and found messages on Croft’s Facebook account referencing potential acts of violence, including a post referencing violence against police officers. The group was co-founded by suspects Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison; the latter is considered the group’s \”commander\”. The suspects named in the federal indictment, charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, were Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, BarryCroft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta. Five of the men were Michigan residents, While the sixth, Croft, was from Delaware. Adam Fox was accused of being the ringleaders of the plot.
The alleged plot developed from June through September, with the main target being Whitmer. Whitmer had seen her political profile elevated over the preceding months due to her early response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan. She enacted strict mitigation measures such as a lockdown of the state, which she was widely praised for. However, she also became a target of criticism from far-right groups, and her measures triggered protests in April and May, including one in which armed protesters stormed the Michigan State Capitol. The Anti-Defamation League identified Michigan as a state where the modern militia movement found its roots and where a number of militia groups remain active. The Michigan Supreme Court made two rulings that declared a 1945 law allowing Whitmer to enact the measures was unconstitutional. This put uncertainty over enforcement of the measures and forced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – and later, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration – to circumvent it by ordering similar measures, even after the alleged plot was made public. In October 2020, a 4–3 ruling declared a 1976 act did not give Whitmer the power to enacted the measures without legislative approval, and a unanimous ruling that declared the law was not valid. This led to the arrests. At least four of the 13 suspects had attended prior rallies at the Michigan state Capitol. The group had been recruiting members on Facebook from November 2019 until June 2020, when Facebook began purging all booga-related material.
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This page is based on the article Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot published in Wikipedia (as of Jan. 04, 2021) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.