Washington – Thirteen men, including members of two right-win militias, have been arrested for plotting to kidnap the Democratic governor of the US state of Michigan and “instigate civil war”, said officials.
The Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer thanked law enforcement for thwarting the kidnap plot and rebuked President Donald Trump for failing to condemn hate groups.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the arrests and described the conspiracy to kidnap the 49-year-old Whiter as a “serious and credible threat”.
Andrew Birge, US attorney for the western district of Michigan, said six men were facing federal charges for conspiring to kidnap Whitmer from her holiday home.
Birge said they had conducted surveillance of her residence and even tested a home-made bomb they intended to sue to divert law enforcement away from her home.
The suspects were arrested on Wednesday by FBI agents and Michigan police as they met to “pool funds for explosives and exchange tactical gear,” said the Justice Department.
Trump had repeatedly attacked Whitmer over her tough coronavirus lockdown, and armed right-wing groups have staged protests against her in the state capital Lansing.