Southfield businessman who tracks hate speech online not surprised by plot to kidnap governor

Businessman continues to monitor threatening online talk

A look at how talks about terrorism turn into action.

DETROIT – A Southfield businessman who tracks hate speech and online links to terror is speaking openly about disturbing findings.

He says when the lockdown took place due to the coronavirus pandemic encrypted apps exploded with calls for violence against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“No, we’ve been tracking since April, not surprised in the least,” said Eric Feinberg of Coalition for a Safer Web, an online terror watch dog group.

How could someone not be surprised about a plot to kidnap and kill the governor?

Feinberg says when the governor started shutting down many facets of the state due to the pandemic he went right to encrypted apps and watched a storm of anger form against her.

“Bring it all down, that’s what they want to do, bring it all down,” he said.

But putting the talk into motion is different.

“What do we have to look forward to, we are all spending time online and we get amped up. It is how it results in real world consequences,” he said.

With one plot foiled Feinberg continues to monitor the talk and see if it turns to action.

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About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.