Militias in Michigan: A troubling presence dating back decades
The Michigan Militia was first brought to the spotlight after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. AdTimothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the men who carried out the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, were said to have attended Michigan Militia meetings. Dr. JoEllen Vinyard, a retired EMU history professor, studied the Michigan Militia in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s. “That was one of their major worries across all the different groups.”The early meetings of the Michigan Militia were attended by McVeigh and Nichols. April 9, 2013: Hutaree members sue FBI, Michigan State PoliceAdArena said militia groups have always been a concern for the FBI.
Michigan lawmakers take on key role in fight against terrorism
WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s been going on in plain sight for decades, but since the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol Building, the fight against domestic terrorism has become a top priority. READ: Slain Capitol Police officer honored: ‘We will never forget’Two Michigan Legislatures are taking prominent roles in that fight. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who served as an expert in militias and terrorism for the CIA, announced Thursday she will bring that experience to combating domestic terrorism. “We have been dealing with this rise of extremism and domestic terrorism long before Jan. 6,” Slotkin said. “That will change.”Both Peters and Slotkin pointed to Michigan’s strong domestic terrorism laws and hope their home state will be used as examples for both the good and bad as Michigan take the lead role in a national fight.
Poll results: Was plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer a serious threat, or just talk?
When news of the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer broke earlier this month, it made international headlines. In an exclusive Local 4/The Detroit News poll, we asked Michigan voters: Was the plot to kidnap Gov. The results: 77% of Michigan voters take that plot seriously and don’t think it was just talk -- a defense being used by attorneys representing the men accused in the plot. 14.7% of polled Michigan voters thought that the alleged domestic terror plot was just talk, while 8.1% of voters said that they “don’t know." The poll also asked Michigan voters how worried they are about militia groups in Michigan, which have been active for years in the state.
Bond reduced to 1% for man charged in terrorism plot against Gov. Whitmer
LANSING, Mich. – Pete Musico -- one of the men charged in the domestic terrorism plot against Gov. Prosecutors claim Musico and Joseph Morrison are founding members of Wolverine Watchmen and allowed other suspects to train on their property in Jackson County. RELATED: View: Mugshots for all 14 people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. “It is not lawful to plot to kidnap the governor of the state of Michigan," said state attorney Greg Townsend. If he makes bond, Musico will be set free and monitored by a tether.
Judge lowers bond for alleged leader of group in terrorist plot against Whitmer
LANSING, Mich. – The bond hearing for two men charged in connection with the domestic terrorist plot against Gov. WhitmerMusico, reported to be the head of the Wolverine Watchmen, had his bond hearing first. He also said that Musico was kicked out of the Wolverine Watchmen for being too soft. The office wanted a $10 million bond, but the judge sided with Musico and reduced the bond to $100,000. If he makes bond, Musico will be set free and monitored by a tether.
2 men charged in terrorist plot against Whitmer served in US Military
LANSING, Mich. – Local 4 has learned two of the men arrested in the domestic terrorist plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer spent time in the military. READ: 2 charged in Michigan terrorist plots served in US MarinesThe U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Daniel Harris of Lake Orion and Joseph Morrison of Munith served for years. The Marines said Harris trained with rifles and Morrison served in the Marine Corps Reserve until Thursday, the day he was arraigned. Parker Douglas, the attorney for Daniel Harris -- one of the 13 men accused of being apart of a terrorist plot to kidnap Whitmer who was charged with Domestic Terrorism, Conspiracy and Weapon Charges -- is addressing the claims on his client’s behalf. The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Daniel Harris from Lake Orion and Joseph Morrison of Munith, were Marines for years.
Michigan House Speaker questions response to alleged terrorist plot against governor, Capitol
LANSING, Mich. – Controversy at the Michigan State Capitol continues after an already troubling week, amid the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap the governor. RELATED: Letter criticizes Michigan governor for not warning legislature about domestic terror plotIt’s safe to say it has been a busy and scary week at the Michigan State’s Capitol building, especially after the FBI stopped alleged threats to kidnap the governor. Saturday, Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, spoke out about the threats, “I think the plot was evil, plotted by evil men and it needs to be condemned. Why weren’t we in the Legislature warned of the plot to take hostages at the Capitol? I am also alarmed the Lieutenant Governor recently blamed Michigan Republicans for the evil plans of these unstable men.
Who are the Wolverine Watchmen? What is ‘boogaloo’?
LANSING – Many law enforcement agencies -- local and federal -- are investigating the group behind the terrorism plot to kidnap Gov. While they’re affiliate with the Michigan Militia, the Wolverine Watchmen is its own group with its own goals. The Wolverine Watchmen formed very recently. The boogaloo movement is a loosely organized far-right extremist movement with members advocating for a second Civil War. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the current boogaloo movement was first noticed by extremism researchers in 2019.
Gov. Whitmer kidnapping suspects linked to ‘boogaloo’ anti-government movement, NBC News finds
LANSING, Mich. – Some of the Michigan men charged after a conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have links to the national “boogaloo” anti-government movement, NBC News found. NBC News looked into the six men directly charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer -- Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft. Croft was seen wearing the insignia of the Three Percenters, an armed anti-government movement, among other online warning signs, according to NBC News. Others in the group facing charges had anti-government memes and posts on social media before they were deleted, according to NBC News.
Foiled terror plot to kidnap Michigan governor: Here’s what to know
If you’re looking to get caught up on Thursday’s announcement about a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, here’s what to know. These are 10 of the 13 people who were charged after the FBI uncovered a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. BOTTOM (left to right): Pete Musico, Eric Molitor, William Null, Michael Null, Joseph Morrison.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer on kidnapping plot: ‘They’re not militias. They’re domestic terrorists’
Gretchen Whitmer refuted some of the wording in the FBI’s criminal complaint about several Michiganders' alleged plot to kidnap her, saying the men are “not ‘militias.' They’re domestic terrorists.”State and federal officials issued charges against 13 people -- 12 from Michigan -- on Thursday after the FBI uncovered a conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home, hold her hostage and overthrow the Michigan government. What Whitmer saidWhitmer didn’t mention an issue with the wording when she spoke Thursday about the kidnapping plot, but she took to Twitter Friday morning to make her views clear. READ: Whitmer kidnapping suspects linked to ‘boogaloo’ anti-government movement, NBC News finds“They’re not ‘militias,’" Whitmer tweeted at 8:27 a.m. Friday. VIEW: Larger mugshots, with names for 10 of 13 people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap WhitmerThese are 10 of the 13 people who were charged after the FBI uncovered a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov.
A closer look at alleged ‘training ground’ in Jackson County in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot
MUNITH, Mich. – FBI agents raided a home in Jackson County early Thursday in connection with the kidnapping plot against Gov. Neighbor Pam Karschnock and many others had been fed up with all the shooting at the home in recent months. But Karschnock and others came to learn Thursday that there was more than guys just firing automatic weapons. Karschnock lives next door to the home on Dunn Road in Munith that was raided. In addition to the shooting, neighbors said they had seen several men in militia fatigues at the home on Dunn Road, as well as hearing more than gunshots.
Jackson County home was alleged ‘training ground’ in plot to kidnap Whitmer
MUNITH, Mich. – Federal and state officials have charged 13 people after uncovering a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the Michigan government, FBI agents said. Through confidential informants and undercover agents, the FBI gained access to audio recordings, ground messages and secret meetings as the group plotted for months, according to court records. In addition to a Wednesday night raid in Hartland, FBI agents also raided the home of two of the suspects in Jackson County. Authorities said the Munith home served as a training facility for members of the group now facing terrorism charges.
View: Mugshots for all 14 people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer
Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford, was charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership and a felony firearm violation. Providing material support for terrorists acts, threat of terrorism and gang membership are each 20-year felonies. The felony firearm violations come with mandatory two-year prison sentences, to be served consecutively. You can view mugshots for Bellar, Musico, Morrison, Molitor, Fix and the Nulls below. Brian Higgins was charged after the FBI uncovered a domestic terror plot targeting Michigan Gov.
13 charged in plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer -- Here’s what we know
LANSING, Mich. – Thirteen people have been accused of participating in a scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. READ: 13 charged in militia plan to kidnap Gov. Whitmer as hostage, overthrow Michigan government, feds sayClick the link above for a deep dive into the details of the scheme to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home. The six men charged in federal court were arrested Wednesday night and face up to life in prison if convicted. READ: FBI: Group plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov.
Here’s what Gov. Whitmer said about group of Michiganders' plot to kidnap her
Gretchen Whitmer spoke Thursday after the FBI uncovered a plot by a group of Michigan residents to kidnap her, hold her hostage and try her for treason. You can watch Whitmer’s full statement in the video above. VIEW: Mugshots for people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap WhitmerCharges were later announced against Paul Bellar, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, Michael Null, William Null, Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison. Whitmer thanked the FBI and state troopers who took down the people involved. Not in our lifetimes.”“I’ve said it many times: We are not one another’s enemy,” Whitmer said.
Leader of Gov. Whitmer abduction plot inspected bridge for where to plant explosives, FBI says
Gretchen Whitmer inspected a bridge for where to plant explosives so the group could delay police response to the kidnapping scene, FBI agents said. Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft were named in the criminal complaint. Through confidential informants and undercover agents, the FBI monitored the plot for several months. The first mention of the bridge in the criminal complaint refers to an Aug. 30 exchange between Garbin and an FBI informant. VIEW: Mugshots for people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap WhitmerFox later shared that information with the larger group, court records show.
FBI: Group plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer wanted to take her to Wisconsin for ‘trial’
A group caught by the FBI plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wanted to take her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin and try her for treason, officials said. VIEW: Mugshots for people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap WhitmerAdam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft were named in the criminal complaint. On July 27, an FBI informant met with Fox at Fox’s business in Grand Rapids, officials said. During that June 14 meeting, Fox said Whitmer would be tried for “treason” after the kidnapping.
LIVE STREAM: Michigan Gov. Whitmer to address foiled militia plot to kidnap her
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will address a foiled plot by militia to kidnap her and to overthrow the government in a press conference on Thursday afternoon. 13 charged in militia plan to kidnap Gov. Whitmer as hostage, overthrow Michigan governmentMore than a dozen people are accused of participating in what the FBI is calling a “violent” militia scheme involving people from several different states to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as a hostage and overthrow the Michigan government.
Deep dive into the details of a scheme to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, hold her hostage
Here is a deep dive into the intricate details of a scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home, including quotes from undercover audio recordings, code words used while plotting and a secret trap door hidden under the rug of a Grand Rapids business.
FBI uncovers plan to kidnap Gov. Whitmer as hostage, overthrow Michigan government, feds say
More than a dozen people have been charged after what the FBI is calling a “violent” militia scheme involving people from several different states to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as a hostage and overthrow the Michigan government.