Six Militia Members Arrested for Plotting to Kidnap and Kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. Gov. Whitmer's office said Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

Federal authorities have detained six men on what is now called a domestic terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In a complaint filed in federal court, charges against Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta were all accused of an attempt to kidnap the governor.

What We Know:

  • All culprits, with the exception of Croft who lives in Delaware, are residents of the state of Michigan. Federal authorities and Michigan Attorney General held a press conference at 1 p.m. on Thursday giving details on the plot.
  • The complaint stated that Fox and company, along with about 13 other men, gathered in Dublin, Ohio on June 6th. The gathering was aiming to construct a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights in an effort to be self-sufficient. How they were going about this goal was through a rather violent plan.
  • The FBI reported that Fox contacted a Michigan-based militia group to target Whitmer. “Fox said he needed ‘200 men’ to storm the Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, and take hostages, including the Governor. Fox explained they would try the Governor of Michigan for ‘treason,’ and he said they would execute the plan before the November 2020 elections.”

  • Whitmer held a press conference later on Thursday to discuss the arrests. She stated, “’When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard but I have to be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this.”
  • The FBI got involved when they learned of the plan through undercover agents who attended militia group meetings the past couple of months. Within these meetings, they practiced training consisting of firearms and tactical drills on private properties in remote areas of Michigan.
  • The FBI also said that Fox referred to Whitmer as a “tyrant b****” and asked the group if it was linked to other systems. This particular militia group previously met in Ohio and Wisconsin. During the July 11th meeting in Wisconsin, it was revealed that Croft and another member attempted to create an explosive device using various materials such as black powder and BBs for shrapnel.
  • An undercover agent was able to listen in on the group’s conversation about acquiring explosives. They estimated they would need about $4,000 to get the explosives they needed to sabotage the bridge to Whitmer’s vacation home and spent a few weeks to raise the money.

Many reporters now turn to President Donald Trump’s tweet back in April, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” amid political unrest in the early days of a lockdown which was ordered to limit the spread of the now-infamous COVID-19 virus. During that time, there were armed protests at the state capital in Lansing, Michigan. The president’s activity on social media is seemingly continuing to fan the flames of current issues this year.