A group of militant right wing terrorists who were plotting to harm Governor Gretchen Whitmer have been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the federal government announced today.
“Seven others face state charges, brought by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. All thirteen are in custody,” The Detroit Free Press reported.
“All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider in the Eastern District of Michigan. “The allegations in this complaint are deeply disturbing. We owe our thanks to the men and women of law enforcement who uncovered this plot and have worked so hard to protect Governor Whitmer.”
The group arrested by the FBI held meetings and conducted surveillance of Governor Whitmer’s vacation homes. Group members also purchased weaponry and equipment (including high-voltage Taser and night goggles) to use in their planned operation. And perhaps most frightening of all, they tried to build explosive devices and test those devices. From the complaint:
Over the weekend of July 10-12, 2020, FOX, CROFT, GARBIN, FRANKS, CASERTA [all defendants named in the complaint] CHS-2 [an undercover operative], and others attended a FTX in Cambria, Wisconsin. Attendees participated in firearms training and other combat drills. On July 11, at the exercise, CROFT and a member of the militia group attempted to construct an improvised explosive device (“IED”), using black powder, balloons, a fuse, and BBs for shrapnel. CROFT, GARBIN and the militia group member attempted to make a second IED using similar components. The construction of the devices was faulty, and they did not detonate as planned. CHS-2 provided FBI with video of the event. FRANKS also brought and fired a rifle with a silencer at the exercise. Attendees shared photos and video recordings of the exercise in Facebook discussions that included CHS-2.
The full complaint can be read below.
Note that it includes graphic language.
Governor Whitmer responded to the arrests a short time ago. Her remarks can be streamed by clicking play below.