FBI foils ‘plot by militia group to kidnap, overthrow’ Michigan governor

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it foiled a plot to abduct governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer by a suspected militia group.

BBC reports that the governor has become a target for coronavirus sceptics after enacting strict measures that were overturned by a judge last week.

Officials say the kidnapping plot involved six men who planned to hold a "treason trial" for her.

CNN quoted a criminal complaint as stating the alleged plot included plans to overthrow several state governments, including Whitmer.

The six persons, alleged to be member of a militia group, arrested in connection with the plot were reportedly targeting governments “violating the US constitution”.

The suspects — who were also said to be planning the governor’s “treason trial”,  include Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft.

Local reports said the FBI first learnt of the plot in early 2020 through the social media, and monitored the group’s operation with the aid of informants and undercover agents.

According to a sworn affidavit, an undercover law enforcement officer  attended a meeting in Ohio, in June, when members of a militia “discussed overthrowing state governments that they believed were violating the US constitution”.

The BBC said the charge sheet claimed “several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor” during the said meeting.

One of the suspects reportedly denounced the state’s role in deciding when to reopen gyms which had been shut to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Whitmer, who had been criticised for introducing “strict” measures amid the pandemic, said she never imagined such could happen to her.

“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’ll be honest, I never could’ve imagined anything like this,” CNN quoted her to have said.

“I want to start by saying thank you to our law enforcement. Thank you to the fearless FBI agents. And thank you to the brave Michigan state troopers who participated in this operation.”

The Democratic governor also blamed President Donald Trump for her fate, criticising him for refusing to condemn “white supremacists”.

“Just last week, the President of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” she reportedly said.

“‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. ‘Stand back and stand by.’ Hate groups heard the President’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight.”

Subscribe to TMZ Naija

To receive alert from TMZ Naija, Adverts Placement, Stories & more, Contact via Whatsapp: 07032803990, email [email protected]

No comments: