Plot to kidnap Michigan governor thwarted, militia members arrested

(VOVWORLD) - Thirteen people, including seven men associated with the Wolverine Watchmen militia group, have been arrested in a sweeping takedown of plots to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, attack the state capitol building and incite violence.
Plot to kidnap Michigan governor thwarted, militia members arrested - ảnh 1Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference in Lansing, Michigan, October 8, 2020. (Photo: Reuters) 

Mrs.Whitmer has become a target of coronavirus sceptics after enacting strict mitigation measures that were overturned by a judge last week.

The group aimed to kidnap the Governor, a Democrat who has traded barbs with Republican President Donald Trump over her response to the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to a criminal complaint.

At one point, the alleged plotters discussed recruiting a force of 200 to storm the state capitol in Lansing and take hostages, but later abandoned the plan in favor of surveiling and kidnapping Whitmer at her vacation home, the complaint said.

Internal US security memos in recent months have warned that violent domestic extremists could pose a threat to election-related targets, a concern exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, political tensions, civil unrest and foreign disinformation campaigns.

Michigan is a key swing state in the 2020 presidential race, and Trump and his supporters demanded the governor relax social-distancing rules. 

Militia members were among those that took to the streets in April to protest the various rules.

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