Thirteen men were arrested Thursday on federal and state charges in connection to a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretch Whitmer, according to authorities.
Six were apprehended and charged with federal crimes, while another seven were picked up on state charges, officials in Michigan said. All are members of militia groups, Whitmer said on Thursday.
The arrests grew out of an FBI-led probe which began in March and focused on militia groups’ discussing the “violent overthrow” of certain government and law enforcement officials.
The six suspects facing federal charges for the alleged kidnapping plot, conducted surveillance on the governor’s vacation home and detonated an improvised explosive device wrapped with shrapnel, officials said. The documents identify the defendants as Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.
The seven suspects facing state charges were identified as Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 42. The seven are linked to the Wolverine Watchmen militia and sought to “instigate a civil war” and had “engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the capitol building of Michigan and to kidnap government officials, including the governor of Michigan,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
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