Thirteen men, including seven from a right-wing militia called Wolverine Watchmen, were arrested on two alleged attacks to kidnap Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and spark a "civil war".
Six of the men were taken into custody Thursday morning in a raid on a house in suburban Detroit. They have been named as Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, and 24-year-old Ty Garbin.
The FBI says they conspired to kidnap Whitmer from her family's vacation home in Michigan.
Another seven men were accused by Attorney General Dana Nessell of allegedly plotting to overthrow governments, attack the Michigan State Capitol and start a "civil war".
These seven men are members of a militia called Wolverine Watchmen, one of several well-known militia groups in Michigan.
You are; Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42 and Joseph Morrison, 42.
On Thursday Whitmer said she was shocked by the "depraved" and "sick" conspiracy. She also blamed Trump for the hatred of the men, who she said had spent the last seven months fueling the division.
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Joseph Morrison and Pete Musico, both 42, were arrested at Musico's Munith home and charged on Thursday
Adam Fox (L) and Brandon Caserta (R) are among the 13 militiamen charged with the conspiracy
Kaleb Franks and Daniel Harris, another of the two men allegedly involved
William Null and Eric Molitor have been charged by the Michigan Attorney General
Michael Null, left, a suspected member of Wolverine Watchmen and Ty Garbin, right, who is also believed to have been a member
Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer (at a press conference Thursday) described the men as "sick and depraved".
The men were all labeled extremists at a press conference Thursday where FBI agents and prosecutors exchanged details of the conspiracy.
According to the authorities, the first group of men started the conspiracy in early June, monitoring their home and practicing gunnery and combat exercises. According to a sworn affidavit from the FBI, they also tried to build their own explosives.
The FBI discovered the conspiracy through an informant who is also part of a well-known militia from which the men tried to recruit in order to "conquer" the state capital with 200 people.
Fox and Croft were the ringleaders according to the affidavit.
They "agreed to unite others on their cause" to "overthrow" several state governments that they believe are violating the US. Constitution & # 39 ;.
At one of the alleged meetings, he talked about the kidnapping of Whitmer when she went to her vacation home and said to one of the other men, “Get the governor. Just grab the b *** h & # 39;. & # 39;
The alleged conspiracy began with a meeting at which the men discussed the formation of their own “self-sufficient” society in early June.
"At one point, several members spoke about state governments that they believed were in violation of the US Constitution, including the Michigan government and Governor Gretchen Whitmer," the FBI's affidavit read.
Grab the governor. Just grab the b *** h & # 39;
The men then tried to recruit members of the Michigan militia group to help, the affidavit said.
In a phone call recorded by the FBI informer on June 14, Fox said it would take 200 men to storm the Lansing Capitol and take hostages, including the governor.
He said they would "bring the state government to justice" for treason and he would do all of this before the election.
On June 20, the men met at Fox's store in Grand Rapids.
They were holding a meeting in the basement, accessible through a trap door hidden under a rug. Fox then had them put all of their cell phones in a box, which he took upstairs. The FBI informant carried a wire.
Whitmer and her husband's Michigan vacation home where the group had been monitoring
The FBI was spotted raiding the Detroit property Thursday morning. FBI agents filed their affidavit hours later
Six people were arrested in the early morning raid. This was the result of information given to the Fed by an informant who infiltrated the militia
One of the homes that was searched Thursday in Hartland, on the outskirts of Detroit
Broken windows in home in Michigan on Thursday afternoon
The FBI search warrant at the location of the robbery on Thursday
At that meeting, the men discussed the use of Molotov cocktails to attack the police and capture the Capitol.
WHITMER OWS MILITIES TO TRUMP
At her press conference on Thursday, Whitmer tried to transfer some of the hatred for her to Trump.
& # 39; 2020 has been a tough year for all of us … it's not over yet. But here's what I know …
“This should be a moment for national unity when we all come together as Americans to face this challenge head on. Seeing humanity in one another and doing our part to leave the country through it.
Instead, our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science.
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 militia groups.
"Stand back and stand by."
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet, encourage, or fraternize with local terrorists, they legitimize their actions and are complicit.
“If they stir up and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit. If they incite and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit, ”she said.
They also discussed meeting again to practice firearms and tactical training.
On June 25th, Fox broadcast a live video on a closed Facebook group in which he railed against Whitmer and described her as a "tyrant".
He said, "I don't know guys, we have to do something. You guys connect with me through our other location system and give me some ideas on what we can do."
On June 28, Fox, his girlfriend Garbin, Franks and Caserta attended a training exercise in Munich, Michigan, at one of the militia member's homes.
Franks left after that. Fox, Garbin, Caserta, and the informant stayed behind. However, they should leave if they did not want to participate in the attacks against the government and politicians.
Between July 10 and July 12, the group participated in another training exercise in Wisconsin.
They practice firing and combat exercises and, according to the FBI, some of them tried to build IEDs using "gunpowder, balloons, a fuse, and BBs for splinters."
"They were flawed and did not detonate as planned, but the attempted explosions were videotaped."
On July 18, some of the men met again in Ohio and discussed the attack on a Michigan State Police facility. Garbin then discussed blowing up Whitmer's vacation home.
That day he also said he didn't want to go to the Capitol but was "cool" trying to kidnap her from her vacation home.
On July 27, Fox told the informant that her best chance of kidnapping Whitmer was arriving or leaving her vacation home or the governor's summer residence.
He said it was a "snapshot" and told the informant, "Get the governor." Just grab the shit. Because at that point we do this guy – it's over. & # 39;
Later that day he wrote in a group chat, "OK, how is everyone feeling about the kidnapping?" None of the others answered.
The next day he wrote on a Facebook group: “We are about to be busy, ladies and gentlemen … This is where the patriot appears. Sacrifice his time, his money, his blood sweat and his tears … it starts now so get ready !!! & # 39;
According to the FBI's affidavit, the men planned to take her to a safe place in Wisconsin where they would be tried, but had no location in mind and planned to use a broker to find the safe house.
On Thursday, Whitmer responded to the press conference at a press conference where she appeared to blame Donald Trump, one of her most vocal critics, for the antics of the men.
"When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be difficult, but I have to be honest, I never imagined anything like it," she said.
She called the men "sick and depraved" and said that now is a time for "unity" and not "more division".
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also said Trump was responsible for the conspiracy.
Trump started the flames in Michigan by tweeting this on April 17
Whitmer was largely convicted in Michigan for enforcing a lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. On April 15, demonstrators stormed the state capital with weapons. The FBI says some of the men accused were there
"The words he utters matter," Biden said when he landed in Phoenix, Nevada, to advertise with Kamala Harris and John McCain's widow, Cindy.
When asked if he believed that Trump's "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" tweet was encouraging militias like this one, he said, "Yes, I do".
"Why doesn't the president just say," Stop. Stop, stop, stop "and we will pursue you if you don't," added the Democratic candidate.
Whitmer was often criticized for her strict lockdown rules in Michigan earlier this year.
There have been widespread protests across the state from people who said they wanted the right to keep working, including some who stormed the state capital with guns.
Your place of residence has received security updates in the past few weeks.
On Thursday morning, three hours before the FBI announced, Trump called Whitmer the "Lockdown Queen" after previously calling her "that Michigan woman."
He told Fox Business News & # 39; Maria Bartiromo: & # 39; I won Michigan that hadn't been won in decades and decades.
“And we should win it again because I brought so much business there, because she is the queen of the prison.
“What she did with it this place is terrible. She locked it up. She has people like in prison. They just overturned the courts. You said what you are doing is unconstitutional. & # 39;
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