United States: Democratic governor, target of , escapes planned kidnapping by militia
Thirteen men, including seven members of a far-right militia, the Wolverine Watchmen, have been charged after the FBI foiled their plot. Gretchen Whitmer, fierce opponent of Donald Trump, accuses him of indirect complicity.
They planned to kidnap the governor of Michigan to cause “civil war.” Thirteen men, including seven members of a militia, the Wolverine Watchmen, were indicted after the FBI foiled their plot thanks to informants and undercover agents.
The group planned to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent target of Donald Trump, before the presidential election on November 3, the complaint lodged with a federal court in Michigan. The conspirators also thought for a time of storming Michigan’s seat of executive and legislative powers but ultimately abandoned the idea, focusing on an abduction of the governor aimed at “trying” her for “treason,” according to the indictment made public this Thursday.
Trump questioned by the governor
The governor said she was shocked by the news. “When I took the oath 22 months ago, I knew this job could be difficult. But to be honest, I had never imagined such a thing, reacted Gretchen Whitmer during a press conference.
the Wolverine Watchmen, taking as an example the refusal of the American president to condemn white supremacists during the debate between him and Joe Biden on September 29. “When our leaders meet, encourage, fraternize with ‘terrorists from within’, they legitimize their actions and they become complicit in them,” she said.
On Twitter, the Republican president expressed no sympathy for Gretchen Whitmer. “Rather than say thank you” for the FBI action “she calls me a white supremacist,” he complained. “I do NOT tolerate extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose or attack me, is what I will always do as your president! He added, however.
A small group recruiting via Facebook
The small group of “Wolverine Watchmen”, which has been recruiting since November 2019 via Facebook, is one of those armed groups hostile to the federal government whose members, according to court documents, train in the use of firearms to prepare for an uprising against federal power and what the militia considers a civil war.
To carry out their project, the six arrested men contacted members of this group, with whom they trained for the operation. Several kidnapping scenarios had been considered: in Lansing, the state capital, at Gretchen Whitmer’s home and at her vacation home in northern Michigan. The conspirators monitored the governor’s various residences and tested homemade explosive devices.
The investigation began at the beginning of the year when the federal police “learned on social networks that a group of individuals were talking about overthrowing by violence certain components of the government and the police”, according to the ‘indictment. Six defendants accused the governor in particular of being a “tyrant” and of exercising “unchecked power”.
The latter had decreed in mid-March some of the most severe restrictions in the country to curb the coronavirus epidemic in its state in the north of the United States, at the time one of the most affected by Covid-19. She then became the regular target of attacks by Donald Trump, who had in a tweet called to “liberate Michigan”.