The group of men planning to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of the US state of Michigan, considered kidnapping another governor. There would also have been discussions within the group about whether Whitmer should be shot in the head, the FBI said during the hearing of the suspects in Michigan on Tuesday.
In addition to Whitmer, who is under fire from right-wing protesters for her corona measures, the group is also said to have considered kidnapping Virginia governor Ralph Northam. Northam also implemented measures to contain the corona virus, to the dismay of the suspects.
The FBI’s findings are based on testimonials from informants and encrypted messages intercepted by the law enforcement agency. From those reports, the FBI could determine, among other things, that one of the suspects was planning to disguise as a pizza delivery boy to go to Whitmer’s house and kidnap her.
The FBI announced the arrest of a total of thirteen suspects on October 8. Six of the suspects have reportedly been working on the plan to kidnap Whitmer since the summer in the run-up to the presidential election. The men trained with guns, made explosives and, according to the FBI, guarded the house of the Democratic governor in August.
The seven other suspects have been arrested for supporting terrorist activities. The FBI suspects they have mapped the addresses of police officers and threatened violence with the aim of starting a civil war. The seven men are members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia.
The group first wanted to contact US militias to carry out a coup in Michigan. They later decided to abandon the plan and plotted to kidnap Whitmer.
Whitmer: Trump partly responsible for plans suspects
Whitmer held US President Donald Trump partly responsible for the group’s plans. “When our leaders meet, befriend and encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and are complicit,” said the governor.
Thousands of Whitmer opponents marched to the government building last April. Trump cheered on the protesters with the tweet, “Free Michigan!” However, many of the protesters were armed with semi-automatic rifles.