Huffpost Pic of 13 arrested in red 970w546 25pct

Photo: Huffpost & Police Departments Statewide

MLive:  "Search warrants were executed and arrests made across the state," Michigan Attorney General Nessel said at a press conference October 8, "including at locations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Luther, Hartland, Canton, Orion Township, Waterford, Belleville, Milford, Cadillac, Shelbyville, Plainwell, Zeeland, Munising, Ovid, Charlotte, Clarkston, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township."  Rounding up the baker's dozen was an out of state Delaware arrest.

 

 

1/17/2021   Few show up for right-wing demonstration at Michigan Capitol amid strong police presence, by Anna Gustafson, Michigan Advance

1/17/2021   New: Michigan GOP Senate leader advised militias on messaging, says they’ve gotten ‘a bad rap’, by Todd A. Heywood, Michigan Advance

Just a month before 13 men were charged by state and federal law enforcement for a far-right plot to allegedly kidnap and execute Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) had a sitdown conversation with leaders of three Michigan-based militias.

 

“I was in Lansing and members — the leaders, the so-called leaders — of three of the groups met in my office and we talked about their messaging, their purpose, what they are trying to accomplish and how they could improve their message,” he told JTV host Bart Hawley in an interview on Sept. 10. “It was very fascinating and they’re not uniquely different than you and I. They bleed red, white and blue, but they feel like they are not being heard.”

 

As for the militias, of which an estimated 18 operate in Michigan 2019, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Shirkey told JTV in September they were getting a “bad rap.”

 

This was in light of a mob of anti-COVID-19 lockdown protesters swarming the Capitol on April 30, including some militia members armed with long guns and side arms.

 

While sergeant-at-arms held off demonstrators from entering the state House chamber, Shirkey allowed several armed protesters to fill the Senate gallery as members voted to authorize the Legislature to sue the Democratic governor over her pandemic orders. Shirkey met with some of the protesters and blocked reporters from covering their conversation.

 

That incident has been called a “dry run” for the insurrection on Jan. 6 in the U.S. Capitol by Attorney General Dana Nessel.

1/15/2021   No sessions for House and Senate next week after credible threats, by Susan J. Demas, Michigan Advance

1/10/2021   Susan J. Demas: Fascists planted their flag in the U.S. Capitol this week. Let’s stop denying it, The Michigan Advance

The violent threats against journalists and elected officials, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Georgia Secretary of State Brett Raffensperger and state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit), should be understood to be part of this insurrection. The fascist impulse is to remove those standing in the way of the white ethnostate they seek — whether by forcing good people to quit or holding televised show trials and executions.

 

We’ve had no shortage of warnings. So we should be clear that some Trump supporters were just fine with violence as long as the right people got hurt. That’s been the guiding principle of the Trump era. And it cannot stand.

 

At the very least, we cannot acquiesce to GOP lawmakers’ darkly farcical demands that we just turn the page from sedition and call out their claims that Democrats are being petty and partisan as the fascist-sympathizing claptrap that it is.  

12/30/2020   FBI reveals items seized at white supremacy leader's heavily guarded 'hate camp' by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

"I would say all this stuff that came out of the search of the house tracks with what we have seen in previous cases of Base members in Maryland, Delaware and Georgia in terms of people alleged to have been building up weapons and weapons parts and making very very detailed plans," said Jon Lewis, a research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

 

According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the group aims to bring together highly skilled members to train them for acts of violence.  The Base, according to Nessel's office, is a white supremacy organization that encourages acts of violence against the U.S. and claims to be training for a race war "to establish white ethnonationalist rule in areas of the U.S., including Michigan’s Upper Peninsula."

12/20/2020   How a Trump booster group helped the head of extremist Proud Boys gain access to the White House, by Will Carless, USA TODAY

Several hours before members of the extremist group the Proud Boys clashed with police and opponents on the streets of Washington, D.C., last weekend, the head of the group was strolling the halls of power.

 

"Last minute invite to an undisclosed location," Enrique Tarrio wrote on the social media site Parler, posting photos on the steps of the White House.

 

Tarrio's presence on a White House tour shows how heand the Proud Boys have moved closer to President Donald Trump via a little-known booster group called Latinos for Trump.

 

In Trump's final days, the Proud Boys have evolved into the thuggish face of the far-right movement, giving their support to everything from Trump's claims of voter fraud to anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. 

12/18/2020   Accused Whitmer kidnap plotter who threatened to behead Trump complains about prison, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

12/18/2020   Whitmer kidnap plot suspect denied lower bond; 3 state suspects still in custody, by Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press

In total, 14 men have been charged at the state and federal level in the plot. Morrison is one of eight men charged at the state level and one of three charged in Jackson County, specifically.

 

Morrison initially was given a $10 million bond, but Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren lowered it to $150,000 last month.

 

Klaeren previously lowered bond to $75,000 for codefendant Paul Bellar, 22, of Milford and $100,000 for Morrison’s father-in-law, Pete Musico, 43, of Munith, however.

12/17/2020   Accused Whitmer kidnappers indicted ahead of court hearing detailing evidence, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

The arraignments lasted a few minutes but contained surreal moments. For each man, Berens asked if they understood that it was illegal to conspire to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

 

“Yes,” Canton Township resident Brandon Caserta, 32, said.

 

“Yes, your honor,” accused ringleader Adam Fox, 37, of Potterville, said.

12/16/2020   6 Whitmer kidnap suspects indicted. 1 called for killing police, feds say, Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

One new detail  that  did surface in the indictment is that one of the suspects allegedly instructed his cohorts in an encrypted video message that "if they encountered police during a reconnaissance, they should give the officers one opportunity to leave, and kill them if they did not comply." 

12/10/2020   'Is this what we're becoming?': Anne Frank memorial in Idaho, the only one in US, defaced with swastika stickers, by Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY

12/8/2020   The Proud Boys' Lawyer Wanted to Be a Nazi Terrorist, by Ben Baakuch and Mack Lamaoureux, Vice.com

The one-time leader and former lawyer of the Proud Boys, who was recently alleged to have tried to plot the assassination of a rival, attempted to join neo-Nazi terror group the Base, but was denied membership for being a “huge liability.”

In a 2019 call with the leadership cadre of the Base, a recording of which was obtained by VICE News, Jason Lee Van Dyke, known as the former lawyer of the Proud Boys and for briefly taking over just after founder Gavin McInnes stepped down in 2018, is heard desperately trying to join the terror group, now under an FBI crackdown.

 

On the call, Van Dyke used the cover name “John Lee,” and said he moved on from the Proud Boys, which the FBI has described as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” Van Dyke—who in 2017 nearly worked for a district attorney in Texas, and probably would have if not for being outed to his future bosses for his extremist past by a rival he then allegedly wanted to kill—was deposed in August 2020. (According to the Daily Beast, in a March filing, Van Dyke denied the allegations against him as “wild theories of a conspiracy to murder.”) The voice in a recording of the deposition is unmistakably the same as that of "Lee."

11/18/2020   For Some, Joining the Proud Boys Was a Stop on the Way to Neo-Nazi Terror, by Ben Baakuch and Mack Lamaoureux, Vice.com

Several members and a recruit to the neo-Nazi terror group the Base described the Proud Boys as part of the journey into far-right extremism.

 

The Proud Boys have long tried to maintain the facade of being a multicultural organization, quickly attempting to refute any charges of racism.

The group, known for pathetic initiation rituals, bizarre rules outlawing masturbation, and being mentioned by Donald Trump in a national debate, nonetheless attracted eventual members of a more staunchly terroristic organization with a penchant for the tenets of the Third Reich.

 

The FBI designates the Proud Boys as an extremist organization with ties to white nationalism. Boasting thousands of members, it provided muscle for right-wing groups over the summer during Black Lives Matter protests across the United States, and received renewed national attention after the president's call for them to “stand down and stand by.” 

10/30/2020   Accused neo-Nazi leader had manifesto, wanted race war, prosecutors say, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

Accused leader of the Base, Justen Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, and associate Alfred Gorman, 35, of Taylor, represent the "last vestiges" of the neo-Nazi group that has been the target of repeated arrests and raids nationwide, Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani said.

 

Justen Watkens and Gorman at a 6/5/2020 BLM demonstration in Bad Axe, guarded by cops whose backs are turned to the heavily armed Nazis

 

Same guys, from front, doing the Nazi salute.

10/30/2020   FBI arrests white supremacy leader in extremism crackdown in Michigan, by Robert Snell and Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

Watkins and Gorman are linked to a December incident in Dexter in which a local family was terrorized by the men, who tried to intimidate a husband and wife and shared their address with members of the Base, Michigan Attorney General Nessel said in a statement.

10/30/2020   Kentucky State Police Training Slideshow Quotes Hitler, Advocates ‘ruthless’ violence" by Satchel Walton and Cooper Walton, Manual Redeye

A training slideshow used by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) — the second largest police force in the state — urges cadets to be “ruthless killer[s]” and quotes Adolf Hitler advocating violence.

 

The slideshow was included in KSP documents obtained via an open records request by local attorney David Ward of Adams Landenwich Walton during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Ward requested KSP materials used to train a detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County, and Ward shared the presentation with Manual RedEye.

 

Although the presentation also features quotes from a variety of other sources including Sun Tzu and Albert Einstein, Dr. Jack Glaser —a professor at the University of California Berkeley who studies police practices — found the Hitler quotes inexcusable.

 

“Hitler is, justifiably, the archetype of a bad person with the worst, inhumane morals. It’s controversial enough to quote him when trying to illustrate a point about genocidal despots. Quoting him in the manner that these trainings do —prescriptively —is unfathomable,” Glaser wrote in an email to RedEye reporters.

10/28/1010   Accused Whitmer kidnapper seeks get-out-of-jail card, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

Kaleb Franks, 26, known as "Red Hot," made the request two weeks after being ordered held without bond.

Some of their other double-naught secret agent online monikers:

• Adam Fox, 37, of Potterville, known as "Alpha F--- You"

• Ty Garbin, 25, of Hartland Township, known as "Gunney"

• Daniel Harris, 23, known as "Beaker"

• Brandon Caserta, 32, known as "Debased Tyrant"

10/23/2020   Texas member of Boogaloo Bois charged with opening fire on Minneapolis police precinct during protests over George Floyd, by Andy Mannix, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Feds say Texas adherent of far-right group fired on precinct building, conspired with cop killer to ignite civil war.

 

Two hours after the police precinct was set on fire, Hunter texted with another Boogaloo member in California, a man named Steven Carrillo.

 

“Go for police buildings,” Hunter told Carrillo, according to charging documents.  “I did better lol,” Carrillo replied. A few hours earlier, Carrillo had killed a Federal Protective Services officer in Oakland, Calif., according to criminal charges filed against him in California.

 

Hunter had bragged about his role in the Minneapolis riots on Facebook, publicly proclaiming, “I helped the community burn down that police station” and “I didn’t’ [sic] protest peacefully Dude … Want something to change? Start risking felonies for what is good.”

 

“The BLM protesters in Minneapolis loved me [sic] fireteam and I,” he wrote on June 11. According to the complaint, “fire team” is a reference to a group he started with Carrillo “that responds with violence if the police try to take their guns away.”

10/21/2020   The ties that bind the men behind the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, by Gus Burns, Roberto Acosta and John Tunison, MLive   - This is a comprehensive and well researched profile.

They love guns, but hate government

 

Rebecca Timmerman, a former neighbor, wasn’t surprised by the accusations.  She lives in the Child Lake Estates mobile home park in Milford Township where Bellar previously lived before moving to South Carolina, where his father resides.  Police arrested Bellar in South Carolina and he is awaiting extradition back to Jackson County.

 

“Nobody had really seen him much too except for screaming up and down the street with guns in his hands all the time, marching around,” she said while watching her kids play in the yard at their corner lot. “He thought he was the one that everybody is supposed to answer to supposedly.”

10/19/2020   'It is serious and intense': white supremacist domestic terror threat looms large in US, by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

On 6 October Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, released his department’s annual assessment of violent threats to the nation. Analysts didn’t have to dig deep into the assessment to discover its alarming content.

 

In a foreword, Wolf wrote that he was “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. [They] seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”

 

Two days later, the FBI swooped. It arrested 13 rightwing extremists who had allegedly been plotting to carry out a range of attacks in Michigan, including the kidnapping of the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

 

At least at the federal level, the FBI is having some success in infiltrating extremist groups as the arrests of the alleged Michigan kidnap plotters attested. The record among state and local law enforcement looks far less impressive.

 

Among local police forces, the pattern is less likely to be infiltration of far-right groups by officers than the other way round – extremists are inveigling themselves into police forces. German’s work for the Brennan Center, drawing on FBI policy documents, has pointed out that white supremacist and anti-government groups often have “active links” with law enforcement officials.

10/15/2020   Baseless, Sounds Like Hate, Southern Poverty Law Center

With eighty three hours of exclusive secret audio recordings Part One goes inside their “Vetting Room.” We expose their methods of recruiting deliberately from the U.S. military, the ways they encourage terroristic behavior, and their expressions of paranoia. It’s also about one reporter who infiltrated their group and a network strategizing for the collapse of America.

10/12/2020   'Snatch and grab': The winding path to plot against a governor, by Matthew Dolan, Detroit Free Press staff, Detroit Free Press

Federal and state criminal complaints spell out in remarkable detail the alleged plot against the government of Michigan. Follow along day by day.

 

July 27:    “OK, well how’s everyone feel about kidnapping?” Fox asks in an encrypted group chat.

10/11/2020   All The President’s Men: Looking back at four years of MAGA terror, by Christopher Mathias, HuffPost

This past week, 13 men belonging to paramilitary groups were arrested in a horrifying plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. Based on what can be gleaned from the men’s social media pages, they fit a familiar profile of far-right vigilantism in America.

 

They are white men. Most appear to be supporters of President Donald Trump. They consume disinformation and conspiracy theories online with abandon. They see a new American civil war on the horizon, and they’re more than eager to fire some of the first shots.

 

These men are part of an insurgent Make America Great Again fascist movement here, the size and power of which keeps me up at night. Although it’s a movement with origins that long predate the president, it’s one that today generates much of its cruel energy and momentum from his words.

10/10/2020   Under the 'trap door' of a vacuum shop: Where Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot unfolded, Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

"He had this thing going on. He was doing it after hours and he was doing it when I wasn’t here," Titus said. "Thank God, there was an FBI planted in his militia, who went to all his meetings, recorded everything. ... That cleared me because I had no idea what he was doing."

 

As for the allegations against Fox, [vacuum shop owner] Titus said:

 

"What he did is just uncalled for, (he) just crossed the line. And he put his mom, me and his family all at risk, even his dogs are homeless."

10/10/2020   Two men arrested in plot to kidnap Michigan governor were Marine veterans, by Philip Athey, Marine Times

Joseph Morrison was a Marine reservist who joined the Corps in March 2015 and was discharged from the reserves as a lance corporal on Thursday, Capt. Joseph Butterfield, a headquarters Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times Saturday.

 

His exit from the reserves had nothing to do with the alleged kidnapping plot, Butterfield said. The men were charged on Thursday.

 

Daniel Harris was an 0311 who joined the Corps in June of 2015 and was discharged in June of 2019 after serving with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Butterfield said.

10/10/2020   Michigan’s Attorney General Will “Pounce” If Militias Mess with Voting, by Will Peischel, Mother Jones

10/9/2021   Susan J. Demas: The feds foiled a plot to murder Whitmer. The GOP attacks on her haven’t stopped, Susan J. Demas, Michigan Advance

It’s hard not to be haunted by what Whitmer told CNN on Thursday, “The fact of the matter is, I have raised this issue with the White House and asked them to bring the heat down. I have asked leaders — Republican leaders in this state — ‘Let’s bring the heat down.’ I was aware of many of the threats made to me and my family and I asked for their help. And they didn’t do a darn thing about it and then denied it was a problem.”

10/9/2020   Wolverine Watchmen, extremist group implicated in Michigan kidnapping plot, trained for ‘civil war’, by Hannah Knowles, The Washington Post

In some ways, the Wolverine Watchmen resembled many self-styled militia members who were angry at Michigan’s governor in the spring over measures to fight the novel coronavirus — seen as government intrusion into their lives, experts say.

 

The Watchmen and their associates did not stop at demonstrations, state and federal officials said Thursday, and eventually plotted to attack the Capitol and kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Their broader goal, according to a state affidavit: “civil war leading to societal collapse.”

10/9/2020   Extremist plot to storm the Capitol, kidnap lawmakers unlikely to change Capitol gun policy, by Carol Thompson, Lansing State Journal

10/9/2020   Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot: How the FBI spent months tracking down the case, by Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

10/9/2020   Legal experts reveal one reason Gov. Whitmer kidnap case is strong, by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

Barbara McQuade, who served the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit as U.S. Attorney from 2010-17, told the Free Press that federal prosecutors have a tough time with "domestic terrorism" cases, unlike international terrorism, because there is no domestic terrorism statute.

 

"If it is a plot to engage in violence generally, it can be very difficult," McQuade said. "But I think one thing about this (Whitmer) case that indicates to me it is likely to be very strong is that they were able to charge under the kidnapping statute instead of having to charge something that feels a little vague, like seditious conspiracy, which is sometimes all you’re left with in a domestic terrorism case."

 

The seditious conspiracy charge involves plotting to overthrow the government or declare war against it or forcefully oppose authority. It can clash with free speech protections in the U.S.

 

"In this case, because their plan involved kidnapping, they can charge it under a very solid statute that I think most members of the public and most juries will understand — that it’s a very serious crime to commit kidnapping," McQuade said. "I think for that reason this will be a strong case."

 

"Having a charge other than seditious conspiracy would be beneficial," McQuade said. "I’m sure they were careful to find a statute that could be strong and the kidnapping statute is strong. In that regard, they’re better situated. ... I also think that we live in a different time when perhaps people will take more seriously the threat that’s posed by militia groups. Ten years ago, people were quick to accept the defense that they were just a bunch of losers who were talking tough and enjoyed shooting and blowing things up and they weren’t really dangerous."

 

The conspiracy to kidnap charge creates a legal super glue, she said. To win convictions, prosecutors must prove the defendants agreed to commit a kidnapping and took some action toward making it happen.

 

"Many of these groups have as part of their ideology opposition to the government," McQuade said. "So police officers are the ultimate symbol of authority of the government. Sometimes they want to attack police officers. Sometimes it’s easily dismissed as irrational talk."

 

Michigan has had a "tradition" of militia activity since the 1990s. Federal authorities said domestic terrorist Tim McVeigh hatched a plan with Terry Nichols in Evergreen Township near Decker in rural Sanilac County in 1995 to blow up Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building, which killed168 people. Militia activity has simmered ever since.

 

"I suppose when you have an area that’s known for it, people are attracted to it," McQuade said. "The same way you have a strong sports program, people gravitate to it, if you have a strong militia program, like-minded individuals are inclined to join."

10/9/2020   Nessel: Other groups planning terrorism, more arrests expected, by Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

“There remains a number of individuals, a number of groups that are out there and that continue to plan attacks of domestic terrorism, not just in Michigan but in a multi-jurisdictional fashion across many states,” Nessel told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday.

 

“This is not just a Michigan problem. This is now an American problem."

 

Nessel criticized President Donald Trump for sympathizing with protesters at rallies against stay home orders early on in the pandemic, when he encouraged Whitmer to meet with some of the armed protesters and tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”

 

“When they say these things, people not only listen, they respond,” Nessel told CBS. “It’s not just a dog whistle, but a rallying cry.”

 

She noted her department's investigations involve right-wing groups, but no Antifa or left-wing groups.

10/9/2020   A History of the "Republic, Not A Democracy" Slogan, On The Media

GOP Senator Mike Lee tweeted, "We're not a democracy," tapping into an age-old anti-majoritarian strain of conservatism.

10/9/2020   Even After The Plot To Kidnap Gov. Whitmer, Michigan Militant Groups Continue To Thrive On Facebook, by Salvador Hernandez and Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed News

The Michigan Liberty Militia, for example, was banned from Facebook in August. On Sept. 11, it reappeared under a page with new, slightly altered moniker — MLM Michigan liberty minutemen — and marked its return with a picture of a flag bearing two hatchets, the Liberty Bell, and two assault rifles.

10/9/2020   Here’s How A Group Of Radical Militants Hatched A Plan To Kidnap Michigan’s Governor Before The Election, by Ken Bensinger, Jany Lytvynenko, Paul McLeod and Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed News

It turned out that law enforcement had been surveilling the group and other militants since early in the year and moved in after Fox and three others arranged to buy explosives from an undercover agent for $4,000.

10/9/2020   Untrusted U.S. Attorney General Barr calls alleged kidnapping plot 'abhorrent,' says he was briefed only this week, by Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

U.S. Attorney General William Barr wasn't briefed on the alleged kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer until this week, spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Friday after Michigan's attorney general questioned the extent of his knowledge this summer.

10/9/2020   Delaware last year pardoned man charged in Whitmer kidnapping plot, by Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News

10/9/2020   Man Charged With Plotting To Kidnap Michigan's Governor Was Kicked Out Of A Local Militia/Terrorist Group For His “Rage Issues” by Paul McLeod, BuzzFeed News

“He has rage issues,” Foreman said. “He seemed fine until it was time for him to get patched in. And then all of the sudden he’s all anti-government, he wants to start a war, he wants to take people out.”

 

Foreman said members of the group believed Fox was taking steroids and regularly teased him for having “roid rage.” Foreman said Fox’s social media posts about taking out the government quickly raised red flags. “That’s not what the militia does,” he added.

 

A spokesperson for the Free People of Lansing confirmed this series of events, but said it was more than just Fox who opposed them passing through.

“We encountered multiple militia members who, when we began our demonstration on the ground, held guns over our heads, spit on, stepped on [us] while blowing bull horns in our ears and called us racial epithets,” said the spokesperson, who did not give their name, via the group’s Facebook account. “There were a few people [on the other side] who did stop them, saying it was our Second Amendment right to be there.”

10/9/2020   Barry County Terrorist sympathizer - and Sheriff - Dar Leaf splains and defends his support for the arrested Trump supporting terrorist gun thugs

10/9/2020   ‘Words matter’ from leaders like President Trump, Gov. Whitmer says after kidnapping plot revealed, by Emily Lawler, MLive 

10/9/2020   Some of those charged in Whitmer plot attended Michigan Capitol rallies, witnesses say, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

10/9/2020   Gov. Whitmer’s family was moved as kidnapping plot advanced, AG Nessel says, by Emily Lawler, MLive

A.G. Nessel:  "I’d rather have the weakest conspiracy case rather than the strongest homicide [case.]"

10/9/2020   Whitmer's family had to be "moved around" for safety due to alleged kidnapping plot, Michigan AG says, by Elizabeth Elkind, CBS News

10/9/2020   Fourth Man Charged in Antrim County in Connection With Plot to Kidnap Gov. Whitmer, by David Lyden, 9&10 News

Shawn Fix was charged with firearms and terrorist act charges. Michael and William Null and Eric Molitor were arraigned on the same charges Thursday.  Prosecutors say Fix, along with Michael and William Null and Eric Molitor, did nighttime and daytime surveillance of the governor’s home.  Fix is being held on a $250,000 bond

 

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10/9/2020   Man Charged in Antrim Co. for Plot to Kidnap Governor Attended 2nd Amendment Rally in Lansing, by Dan Firnbach, 9&10 News

The first, third and fourth men in this picture were arrested for their roles in the plot against the governor.

The man on the far right is William Null, one of the four men charged in Antrim.

10/9/2020   Northern Michigan town grapples with plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer from local vacation home, by Justine Lofton, MLive

Nessel filed additional state charges under the Michigan anti-terrorism against seven now-jailed members or affiliates of the Wolverine Watchmen. The charges include: making a threat of terrorism, providing material support for terrorist acts and gang membership, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, punishable by a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence.

 

“This is something we haven’t dealt with before,” Sheriff Daniel Bean told 9&10 News.

10/9/2020   Whitmer knew of kidnapping plot for weeks, she tells CNN, by Emily Lawler, MLive“

Of course, we know every time that this White House identifies me or takes a shot at me, we see an increase in rhetoric online, of violent rhetoric, and so there’s always a connection and certainly, it’s something we’ve been watching but this took it to a whole new level,” Whitmer said.

10/9/2020   Did Donald Trump incite a militia plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer? | Planet America Fireside Chat, Australian Brodcasting System

10/9/2020   Man accused in Whitmer kidnapping plot defended Confederate statue at June, West Michigan Civile War Statue protest, by Samuel J. Robinson, MLive

“Everyone has a right to their opinion, that’s why we’re constitutionalists, but as soon as you become violent — this violence is getting out of hand,” William Null told MLive on June 27.

10/9/2020   What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About White Supremacists, by Daniel Angelo, Quora

10/9/2020   These 13 men were charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer: Here's what we know, by Joe Guillen, Jennifer Dixon, Eric D. Lawrence, with contributions by John Wisely, Dave Boucher, Gina Kaufman, Elisha Anderson and Free Press photographer Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

10/9/2020   These are the types of things you hear from ISIS. This is not a militia, this is a domestic terror organization,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Good Morning America

10/8/2021   Michigan kidnapping plot, like so many other extremist crimes, foreshadowed on social media, By Craig Timberg and Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post

10/8/2020   Read the FBI affidavit in the militia plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, by Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Mysterious Wolverine Watchmen militia group 'flew under radar' by George Hunter, The Detroit News

Assistant Michigan Attorney General Gregory Townsend said during a Thursday arraignment announcing 19 state criminal charges against seven Michigan residents that defendants Joseph Morrison and Pete Musico were “founding members” of the Wolverine Watchmen. The group was "committed to violence" against the government, Townsend said.

 

“There are multiple members of the Wolverine Watchmen,” Townsend said. “Mr. Morrison was considered the commander.”

10/8/2020   Wolverine Watchmen members plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Here's what we know, by Darcie Moran and Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

The federal government has charged six people in a plot to kidnap the governor, and the state has charged seven people with ties to the plot. Officials say all 13 are in custody.  The group is made up of members or associates of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday, as she announced the state charges.

 

Charged at the state level with providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership, felony firearm and threat of terrorism.:

 

  • Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford
  • Shawn Fix, 38, of Belleville
  • Eric Molitor, 36, of Cadillac
  • Michael Null, 38, of Plainwell
  • William Null, 38, of Shelbyville
  • Pete Musico, 42, of Munith
  • Joseph Morrison, 42, of Munith

Charged at the federal level with conspiracy to commit kidnapping:

 

  • Adam Fox
  • Barry Croft
  • Ty Garbin
  • Kaleb Franks
  • Daniel Harris
  • Brandon Caserta

 

10/8/2020   Men detonated explosive, used encrypted messages in Whitmer kidnap plot, feds say, by Christine Ferretti and Robert Snell, The Detroit News

They were tired of being controlled by the "tyrannical government" and hatched a plan that called for an 800,000-volt taser and explos ves to ensure its collapse, according to the government. They discussed the need for "200 men" to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor.

10/8/2020   F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, by By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Shaila Dewan and Kathleen Gray, The New York Times

The F.B.I. said it had monitored the kidnapping plot throughout the summer as the target narrowed to the governor’s personal vacation home. The group discussed the governor in vulgar terms and called her a “tyrant.”

 

“Have one person go to her house. Knock on the door and when she answers it just cap her,” one of the men said in an encrypted group chat, according to the F.B.I.

 

The group spoke of a “baker” and a “cake,” the F.B.I. said, which its agents interpreted as code words referring to explosive devices. Mr. Fox spoke of the need to train for three months in preparation.

 

“I just wanna make the world glow, dude,” the affidavit quoted him as saying in a profanity-laced tirade. “We’re gonna topple it all, dude.”

10/8/2020   FBI affidavit: Conspirators wanted to kidnap gov to remote Wisconsin location, The Detroit News

10/8/2020   President Trump tweets on kidnapping plot, criticizes Gov. Whitmer, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

America's hate-preaching Divider in Chief took time out of his busy schedule of rage-watching Fox news to whine that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had been insufficiently thankful to him, the great leader personally, for the efforts of still independent federal authorities to foil the plot against her.  Attorney General Barr has still not commented, presumably brought down by Covid-19 contracted during a heavy rotation of ass-kissing at Trump's triumphalist super-spreader supreme court nomination announcement.

10/8/2020   The FBI Said It Busted A Domestic Terror Plot To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, by Amber Jamieson, Stephanie K. Baer, Jane Lytvynenko and Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed News

"Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin' Governor. Just grab the bitch," one of the alleged domestic terrorists said.

 

At a press conference Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also announced that state prosecutors have filed charges against seven additional men known to be members or associates of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen under the Michigan Anti-Terrorism Act. These men allegedly wanted to target law enforcement officers in their homes, made threats of violence intended to start a civil war, and were planning an attack on the state's capitol building that involved kidnapping government officials, including Whitmer. They have also been arrested. 

 

Fox, whom the charging documents indicate was the ringleader and instigator of the plot to kidnap Whitmer, was a member of at least two public Facebook “militia” groups: “Militia Wanted Michigan” and “Michigan Home Guard.” Although Fox’s profile and the groups’ pages have been removed from the website, cached versions of these sites show that he regularly posted and participated in discussions with other members over the past year. On June 23, he posted in the “Militia Wanted Michigan” group that he had created another (now-deleted) Facebook group called “Michigan Patriot III%ERS.” The “Three Percenters” are a far-right militia group with chapters across the country, named for the false historical claim that only 3% of Americans fought against the British in the Revolutionary War.

10/8/2020   Feds identify leaders they say were behind Whitmer kidnap plan, by Christine Ferretti, Oralandar Brand-Williams and George Hunter, The Detroit News

“In all honesty right now ... I just wanna make the world glow, dude," Fox said, according to the affidavit. "That’s what it’s gonna take for us to take it back, we’re just gonna have to everything’s gonna have to be annihilated man. We’re gonna topple it all, dude."

10/8/2020   FBI thwarted plot to kidnap Michigan governor, Erin Burnett, CNN

10/8/2020   Michigan lawmakers react on Twitter to kidnap plot: 'This is utterly terrifying' by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Feds say plot was bigger than kidnapping Gov. Whitmer. It was civil war attempt, by Tresa Baldas and Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan: 

 

"All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence. The allegations in this complaint are deeply disturbing."

10/8/2020   Gov. Whitmer denounces hate groups, says President Donald Trump is 'complicit', by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Fascism Enabling Trump adviser: 'If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror,' Gretchen Whitmer called out Donald Trump for 'fomenting anger' after a plot to kidnap her was thwarted. Trump stooge Jason Miller said her comments were 'ridiculous' by Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Militia group plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, feds say, by Paul Egan and Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Expert: Michigan 'a hotbed for militia activity,' with growing potential for violence, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

The Wolverine Watchmen was founded by Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26, who lived together in Munith, Michigan, and are now each charged — among others — with a threat of terrorism, gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

 

The Wolverine Watchmen, the Michigan group accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others, is one of an estimated two to three dozen Michigan militia groups that some fear could pose a growing threat.

 

Michigan has had a long history of militia groups, which are active in every state, according to Amy Cooter, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University, who has studied them for more than a dozen years. Modern militias, she said, date to the early 1990s as a response to perceived fears of tyrannical government.

 

The state "has always been a hotbed for militia activity," Cooter said, adding the state has had a strong militia presence ever since the early 1990s. "The militias in Michigan have always been the kind to which other states' militias look up to."

10/8/2020   Replay: Michigan AG announces charges in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot, by Amy Huschka, Detroit Free Press

10/8/2020   Security upgrades underway at governor's Lansing residence before kidnapping threat, by Carol Thompson, Lansing State Journal

10/7/2020   How One Man Built a Neo-Nazi Insurgency in Trump's America, by Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch and Zachary Kamel, Vice News

10/7/2020   MSP, FBI On Scene for Large Scale Operation in Wexford County, by Nichelle Hulka, 9&10 News

The FBI and Michigan State Police are on scene at what they called a large scale operation on 39 Road in Wexford County.

10/7/2020   How One Man Built a Neo-Nazi Insurgency in Trump's America, by Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch and Zachary Kamel, Vice

This is the inside story of how Rinaldo Nazzaro built the Base, a neo-Nazi terror organization—and how it all came apart.

 

It was August 2019 and the eight men, clad in camouflage gear and armed with semi-automatic rifles and pistols, never expected the cops to show up.

 

This was supposed to be a secret meeting in the woods of rural Pennsylvania where they would sharpen their skills for the coming genocide, in which people of color and race traitors would die by the millions. The leader, thinking quickly, ripped off the neo-Nazi patches from his camo gear and walked towards the officers.

4/23/2020   Dozens gather at Gov. Whitmer's Lansing residence to protest stay-at-home order, by Kara Berg, Lansing State Journal

4/15/2020   See what the Michigan gridlock protest against ‘excessive quarantine’ looked like, by Nate Chute, Lansing State Journal

 

 

A few days earlier, in Madison Heights...

10/7/2020   Ruby Ridge echoes in deadly Madison Heights FBI shootout, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

The troubled life of Madison Heights resident Eric Mark-Matthew Allport, 43, started to emerge as details about what led to the fatal shooting remained shrouded in secrecy and as believers of the right-leaning anti-government Boogaloo movement hailed Allport as a member and martyr.

 

The shooting, which left an FBI agent wounded, served as a violent end to Allport's life 28 years after federal agents, including an FBI sharpshooter, shot and killed Allport's friends and neighbors on a remote mountaintop in Idaho. The deadly Ruby Ridge standoff has served as a rallying cry for white nationalists and inspired the 1995 domestic terror attack by Michigan native Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.

10/5/2020   FBI agent released from hospital as Madison Heights fatal shooting review continues, by Robert Snell, The Detroit News

10/3/3030   Man killed, FBI agent wounded in Madison Heights shooting, by Steve Marowski, MLive

The man killed was identified as Eric Mark-Matthew Allport, officials said. No additional details were released.

 

Background links, the Confluence in Lansing of ReOpen protests, Strutting Fascists, Boogaloos, Proud Boys, Libertarian Fantasistas, Anti-Authority Authoritatians, Cognitive Dissonance, Threats overt and unsubtle, Pandering Conservatives, a Legislature Term-limited to Terminal Stupidity 

- Many more links here: Hate: Made in Michigan, Made in America

 

 

 9/24/2020   Neo-Nazi Terror Leader Said to Have Worked With U.S. Special Forces, by Ben Makuch and Mack Lamoureux, Vice News

 

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9/14/2020   No weapons ban at the Michigan Capitol. For now, at least, by Carol Thompson, Lansing State Journal

9/9/2020   The Violent Defense of White Male Supremacy. Trump and his supporters are defending an America where white men can rule and brutalize without consequence. By Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, The Atlantic

 

8/15/2020   Proud Boys Kalamazoo march leads to violence, arrests, Chris Dumond, The Detroit News

8/5/2020   Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name, by Ben Makuch, Vice.com

Only months after an FBI crackdown and announcing its disbandment, ex-members of the Atomwaffen Division formed a new group.

6/24/2020   Neo-Nazi Memoir Describes Terror Group’s Acid-Soaked Ram Sacrifice, by Ben Makuch and Mack Lamoureux, Vice Motherboard

The bizarre ritual by the terror group The Base was infiltrated by the FBI.

5/22/2020   Sexist attacks cast Michigan Gov. Whitmer as mothering tyrant of coronavirus dystopia, by Malachi Barrett, MLive 

5/12/2020   Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer threatened in private Facebook groups: report, by David Matthews, NY Daily News

“We need a good old fashioned lynch mob to storm the Capitol, drag her tyrannical ass out onto the street and string her up as our forefathers would have,” John Campbell Sr. wrote in to the group “People of Michigan vs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.”

 

“Plain and simple [Whitmer] needs to eat lead and send a statement to the rest of the democrats that they are next,” James Greena wrote.

5/11/2020   Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing, by Steve Neavling, Detroit Metro Times

Metro Times gained access to four private Facebook groups that can only be seen by approved members. The pages, which have a combined 400,000 members, are filled with paranoid, sexist, and grammar-challenged rants, with members encouraging violence and flouting the governor’s social-distancing orders.

 

Assassinating Whitmer is a common theme among members of the groups. Dozens of people have called for her to be hanged.

“We need a good old fashioned lynch mob to storm the Capitol, drag her tyrannical ass out onto the street and string her up as our forefathers would have,” John Campbell Sr. wrote in a group called “People of Michigan vs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” which had nearly 9,000 members as of Monday morning.

 

Steve Doxsie had the same idea: “Drag that tyrant governor out to the front lawn. Fit her for a noose.”

 

“Either President Trump sends in the troops or there is going to be a midnight lynching in Lansing soon,” Michael Smith chimed in.

Others suggested she be shot, beaten, or beheaded.

 

“Plain and simple she needs to eat lead and send a statement to the rest of the democrats that they are next,” James Greena, of Fennville, wrote.

 

Russel Christopher Rozman said, “She needs her ass beat. Most of these politicians need a good ass whooping. Just. Punch there lights out.”

 

When someone suggested the guillotine, Thomas Michael Lamphere responded, “Good ol’ fashioned bullets work better, but I like the enthusiasm.”

 

“Wonder how long till she’s hit with a shotgun blast,” Chris Parrish wrote.

 

Matthew Woodruff had another idea: “Can we please just take up a collection for an assassin to put that woman from Michigan down,” he asked.

4/16/2020   ‘You Have to Disobey’: Protesters Gather to Defy Stay-at-Home Orders, by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times

4/13/2020   Gov. Whitmer OKs protest, takes shot at DeVos family in process, by Aaron Parseghian, FOX 17 West Michigan

10/3/2020   The Cruelty Is the Point. President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear. By Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

1/24/2020   Neo-Nazi Rinaldo Nazzaro running US militant group The Base from Russia, by Daniel De Simone, Andrei Soshnikov & Ali Winston, BBC News

1/23/2020   Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group, by Jason Wilson, The Guardian

1/22/2020   A New Face of White Supremacy: Plots Expose Danger of the ‘Base’ by Neil MacFarquhar and Adam Goldman

A secret domestic terrorism investigation revealed that the violent neo-Nazi group was recruiting cells across the United States.

 

The “defendants did more than talk,” Robert K. Hur, the United States attorney for Maryland, said after a detention hearing on Wednesday in federal court in Greenbelt, Md. “They took steps to act and act violently on their racist views.”

11/21/2019   Shirkey calls Whitmer and Michigan Dems ‘batshit crazy,’ gov’s office calls comments ‘sexist and partisan’, by Laina G. Stebbins, Michigan Advance

11/13/2019   Officer: I quit Proud Boys over fears of ‘far-left’ attacks, by Michael Kunzelman, The Associated Press

Wilcox, 53, retired from the East Hampton Police Department on Oct. 22, one week after the AP reported that Wilcox had been a Proud Boys member and made online payments to a group leader.

 

In his letter, addressed to East Hampton’s police chief, Officer Kevin Wilcox said he was a dues-paying Proud Boys member for about eight months.  He said he quit the group because he suspected its members would be attacked by "far-left political organizations" and labeled as bigots due to their "love" for President Donald Trump.

 

In September, East Hampton Police Chief Dennis Woessner told the organization that Wilcox's Proud Boys membership didn't violate department policies.

9/4/2019    The neo-Nazi boot: Inside one Marine’s descent into extremism, by Shawn Snow, Marine Corps Times

The former Marine junior ROTC cadet and North Carolinian was interested in communism and antifa before he joined a neo-Nazi organization known as Atomwaffen Division — an organization described by some as a terror group.

 

His ideology has drifted across a spectrum of contradictions from antifa — a group whose name stems from “anti-fascists” and is known to use violence against those it deems fascist or supremacist — to a hate group prepping for a race war and the collapse of the U.S. government.

 

Marine Lance Cpl. Vasillios G. Pistolis ultimately was booted from Corps mid-summer 2018 for his ties to a hate group. But, his ability to enlist in the Corps highlights a challenge to the military recruiters armed with few tools from records checks to interviews to keep supremacists out of the ranks.

 

An investigation into his hate group ties by Naval Criminal Investigative Service — obtained by Marine Corps Times through a government records request — reads like a psychological evaluation into extremist thought and behavior, detailing his own path to radicalization and views on various hate groups. 

8/16/2019   Homegrown hate, by Ryan Thorpe, Winnipeg Free Press

While the far-right movement has ebbed and flowed, Charlottesville marked a co-ordinated attempt by white supremacists to reassert themselves into the public domain, crawling out from the dark corners of the Internet they’d been relegated to.  The two-day "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 11 and 12, 2017, was the largest far-right gathering in the U.S. in more than two decades.

 

The new generation of neo-Nazis rejects much of the old extremist right. They don’t believe in centralized organizations. They want to foment "leaderless resistance." They’re not content to be "keyboard warriors" and they don’t care about optics.

 

The Base’s membership, which is primarily located in the U.S. but includes Canadians and Europeans, appears to be gearing up for the ethnic cleansing they want to perpetrate when the "race war" comes.

 

They want terror attacks that destabilize "the system" and hasten its demise. This is exemplified by their promotion of "accelerationism," the idea that extremists should seek to make society unliveable in order to drive radical social change.

 

11/20/2017   The Nationalist’s Delusion. Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination. by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

9/9/2017   Is 'antifa' a gang?  By: James Queally, Benjamin Oreskes and Richard Winton, The Winnepeg Free Press

"The question is going to become, have they engaged in a pattern of criminal activity... and is that part of their primary purpose for existing? When you talk about AntiFa, a group engaging in civil disobedience, I am very hesitant to label them a street gang," Imes said.

 

Those standing across Bay Area battle lines from anti-fascists seem to have more in common with what the average citizen associates with gang lore. The Proud Boys, a national collective of "western chauvinists" founded by former Vice media executive Gavin McInnes, has a formalized initiation process that includes being beaten by members, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 

After an April rally, the Bay Area Proud Boys claimed Berkeley as its "territory," according to a post pinned atop its Twitter page.

 

"When they do things like that, and they put things in writing like bylaws... it makes our job a lot easier," Imes said. "It makes proving the associational organization much easier."

 

 

 

 

 

Whitmore Lake's Unlinked Explosion Death of 2020

10/4/2020   Man killed in [200 block of Barker Road, Whitmore Lake] house explosion north of Ann Arbor, police say, by Samuel Dodge, MLive 

 

 

Whitmore Lake's Mad Bombings of 2008

5/27/2020   Trial Date Set For Accused Lottery Thief, by Jon King, WHMI

42-year-old Christopher Bandy was charged with one count of embezzlement of $100,000 or more after an investigation by Fowlerville Police. The owner of Buddy's Mini Mart called authorities after noticing that approximately $120,000 in lottery sales was missing.

2/26/2020   Party Store Employee Charged In Lottery Ticket Theft Headed To Trial, WHMI.com

42-year-old Christopher Bandy was bound over to Livingston County Circuit Court on count of embezzlement of $100,000 or more.

12/1/2010   Whitmore Lake pipe bomber sentenced to more than 8 years in prison, by Lee Higgins, The Ann Arbor News

 Sandra Donovan still lives in fear 20 months after her neighbor's son, Christopher Bandy, detonated two pipe bombs in her chimney, causing an explosion that shook her Howell home.

 

Bandy, 33 — who detonated seven pipe bombs at five homes in Whitmore Lake and Howell and admitted setting fire to a Milan home during a nine-month crime spree — was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison.

7/9/2009   Man indicted in pipe bomb case, by Shaun Byron, The Oakland Press

Christopher V. Bandy, 32, was indicted Tuesday on allegations of being behind the bombings, which started Aug. 30, 2008, and continued through April 3, 2009.