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FBI charges six who it says plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as seven more who wanted to ignite civil war face state charges

By Matt ZapotoskyDevlin Barrett and Abigail Hauslohner

Oct. 8, 2020 at 10:07 p.m. EDT

Federal and state officials revealed Thursday that they had thwarted a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, unsealing charges against 13 people who they say were involved in various plans to attack law enforcement, overthrow the government and ignite a civil war.

Officials said the conspiracy — which was supposed to come to fruition before the election — seemed to be an ominous indication of how America’s civil unrest has energized violent extremists.

The plotters, according to an FBI affidavit, seemed to be motivated at least in part by their belief that state governments, including Michigan’s, were violating the Constitution. One of those involved complained in June that Whitmer (D) was controlling the opening of gyms — an apparent reference to coronavirus shutdown restrictions — and others were involved in a militia group that had contemplated targeting police in their homes, authorities said. They trained together with firearms and experimented with explosives, authorities said.

Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller

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