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8 Oct, 2020 17:04

FBI foils alleged militia plot to KIDNAP Michigan Governor Whitmer – by a group that called her ‘tyrant b***h’ over Covid-19 rules

FBI foils alleged militia plot to KIDNAP Michigan Governor Whitmer – by a group that called her ‘tyrant b***h’ over Covid-19 rules

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, possibly even divisiveness and fighting across the nation, law enforcement stands united,” State Police director Joe Gasper said.

Whitmer, a Democrat who made the shortlist to become Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, has been a lightning rod for controversy this year, trading barbs with President Donald Trump and imposing some of the nation’s strictest Covid-19 lockdown orders. Those orders were ruled unconstitutional by Michigan’s Supreme Court last week, but Whitmer vowed to keep the restrictions in place.

Whitmer gave a speech on the kidnapping plot later Thursday, saying she hopes to see convictions “bringing these sick and depraved men to justice.” She took the case as an opportunity to again attack Trump, saying he “spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” She accused him of refusing last week to condemn white supremacists and  hate groups and suggested that he was complicit in domestic terrorism.

“Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “If you break the law or conspire to commit heinous acts of violence against anyone, we will find you, we will hold you accountable, and we will bring you to justice.”

A video posted on Twitter showed Brandon Caserta, one of the men arrested on federal charges, sitting in front of an anarchist poster and speaking out against police. Anyone who is still supporting law enforcement is “supporting the people who are enforcing slavery on everyone else,” he said.

Whitmer's orders led to anti-lockdown protests in Michigan’s capital, Lansing, which she dismissed as “racist and misogynistic.” She banned such activities as boating or golfing while keeping abortion clinics, liquor stores, and lottery ticket outlets open as “essential services.”

Some Michigan businesses were allowed to reopen from June, but others, such as movie theaters, were scheduled to remain shut until October 9. Even those that reopen have been ordered to operate under restrictions, such as the rule that allows fitness centers, skating rinks, and bowling alleys to operate at only 25 percent of capacity. Restrictions on the public, such as a mask mandate, also remain in place.

Whitmer has been criticized for allowing Covid-19 patients to be admitted to nursing homes, as Democrat governors did in such states as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Lansing on Friday to demand more data on Michigan’s care home deaths.

The state made about $1.1 million in security upgrades, including a new perimeter fence, at the governor's mansion in recent weeks.

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