Plot Foiled | Jasmine Elasaad
For a while now, some Michigan residents have expressed their discontent with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s severe COVID-19 lockdown policies and have organized various protests against them, with President Donald Trump even referring to her as the “lockup queen.” But recently, one extremist group in particular hatched a plan that took things too far. This militia group, who refer to themselves as the Wolverine Watchmen, formulated a plot to take violent action against governments whom they believed were violating the constitution and imprisoning the people under harsh lockdown measures. Their first target would be the Capitol Building in Lansing, where they intended to seize hostages and try the governor for treason prior to the November 3rd election in order to send a message to the electorate. The FBI however, ultimately put a stop to this plan, and infiltrated and charged the anti-government group for conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
The FBI had originally begun their surveillance of the Wolverine Watchmen back in early 2020 by keeping a close eye on their social media discussions regarding a potential government overthrow. The group’s plot, led by ringleaders Adam Fox and Barry Croft, really began to take shape during a meeting they held in Dublin, Ohio on June 6th. Around 14 members gathered to discuss expanding their numbers as well as a kidnapping and possible assassination of the Michigan Governor because she was a “tyrant” and was forcing residents into an unconstitutional lockdown. She would be held at gunpoint, and taken to Wisconsin to be tried for treason. The members had a strong desire to create their own self-sufficient society based upon the Bill of Rights, so, in preparation, they surveilled the governor’s vacation house on numerous occasions, bought weapons, and met for field training.
Their plan however ultimately failed when the FBI stepped in to arrest the group’s members with the aid of informants. Upon hearing of the plan following the charges, Whitmer was shocked. “I knew this job would be hard, but I never could have imagined anything like this.” Whitmer proceeded to criticize and blame Donald Trump for the events that had taken place. She claimed that Trump has promoted militant and white supremacist groups, and his words have served as a call to action for many radical groups. The failed plot crafted by the Wolverine Watchmen exemplifies this and has served to illustrate just how violent people are becoming nowadays in expressing their political beliefs. Almost all of those who had been charged, created hostile posts towards Democrats, one even going so far as saying that “liberals should be hung to make America great again,” and several of them also expressed their admiration for shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. These extreme behaviors seem to be encouraged by the use of social media and the president himself.
Concerns about escalating violence have been raised for the entire country, and with the election being less than a month away, people have grown increasingly worried about how the results will be impacted and the extreme actions that could potentially be taken by militia groups afterwards.