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

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"I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says. Over the summer, conspirators allegedly began training for a potential attack.
Militia Members Plotted To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer, FBI Says

Enlarge this image toggle caption Michigan Governor's Office via AP Michigan Governor's Office via AP

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and six people are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, Michigan is pursuing state felony charges against seven people with ties to a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen.

Whitmer said two militia groups "were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me."

"I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Whitmer said as she thanked law enforcement officers on Thursday afternoon for their actions.

It's not immediately clear what the second militia is that Whitmer referred to, or how the groups might have been coordinating in the alleged conspiracy.

Michigan has been a hot spot for disagreements over shutdowns and other restrictions Whitmer ordered in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus — actions that allegedly sparked the plot against her. The governor noted those disagreements on Thursday and called for unity.

"We are not one another's enemy," Whitmer said. "This virus is our enemy."

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Criticizing President Trump's recent remarks on white supremacists, Whitmer said his widely condemned "stand back and stand by" comment about the Proud Boys was taken by hate groups as a rallying cry, not a rebuke.

"Let me say this loud and clear: Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan," Whitmer said.

The FBI said the Michigan militia group had already been on its radar because its members had attempted in March to acquire the home addresses of local law enforcement officers with the goal of attacking or killing them.

The agency said it collected information about the kidnapping plot from informants and undercover agents. Over the summer, the conspirators allegedly began training for a potential attack on…
Bill Chappell
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