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Politics Accused militia members arraigned on domestic terrorism charges in Michigan

04:25  10 october  2020
04:25  10 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

AP source: US to announce charges against British IS members

  AP source: US to announce charges against British IS members WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is preparing to announce charges Wednesday against two men from Britain who joined the Islamic State and were part of a cell that beheaded Western hostages, a law enforcement official said. El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are two of four men dubbed “the Beatles” by the hostages they held captive because of their British accents. They are expected to make their first appearance in the afternoon in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly ahead of an official announcement.

The authorities in Michigan revealed on Thursday what they said was a detailed plot to abduct Gov. Members also gathered several times to discuss the mission, including in the basement of a shop that was accessible only through a “trap door” under a rug.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has become a target of coronavirus lockdown sceptics. Ms Nessel said the arrested militia members hoped to start a civil war. Social media's Boogaloo " Michigan law enforcement officers are united in our commitment to rooting out terrorism in any form

By Steve Gorman

Gretchen Whitmer et al. standing in front of a mirror: Plot to kidnap Michigan governor thwarted © Reuters/Michigan Governor's office Plot to kidnap Michigan governor thwarted

(Reuters) - Six men arrested on suspicion of taking part in a plot by armed extremists to kidnap Michigan's governor have been arraigned on domestic terrorism and weapons charges, while a seventh awaits extradition from South Carolina, authorities said on Friday.

All seven, described by prosecutors as members or associates of an anti-government militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen, were taken into custody late on Wednesday as part of a joint state-federal investigation.

Trump says Whitmer didn't say 'thank you' after thwarted kidnapped plot. She did thank law enforcement

  Trump says Whitmer didn't say 'thank you' after thwarted kidnapped plot. She did thank law enforcement Whitmer thanked law enforcement in her press conference on Thursday but criticized Trump for his responses to hate groups.Seven additional people are also facing state charges pursuant to Michigan's anti-terrorism act in connection to the alleged plot.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel unveiled state charges against seven other men affiliated with the Wolverine Watchmen and accused of violating the state's anti- terrorism act by conspiring to kidnap the governor and propagate violence. The Wolverine Watchmen group has used Facebook

Thirteen people were charged Thursday in an alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. The source noted that the domestic terrorism investigation being worked by the FBI has uncovered significant anti-government beliefs among the group members but not widespread

They are accused of conspiring to abduct Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has clashed sharply with Republican U.S. President Donald Trump over her COVID-19 public health orders.

Prosecutors say the men also sought to single out law enforcement officers for intimidation, made threats of violence to incite civil unrest, and trained for an operation to storm the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing and take government officials hostage.

a group of people posing for the camera: Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor © Reuters/ANTRIM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

"Clearly this was not just talk," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a CBS News interview on Friday. "These were many overt actions. And so we thought it was time to move in before anybody lost their lives."

Michigan extremists plotted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, start civil war. Here's why the state is a 'hotbed' for similar groups

  Michigan extremists plotted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, start civil war. Here's why the state is a 'hotbed' for similar groups Michigan has had a long history of armed groups similar to the Wolverine Watchmen. The group is accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.Michigan has had a long history of groups of armed men and women, 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 armed groups, she said, date to the early 1990s as a response to perceived fears of tyrannical government.

Militia members were plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor. What's the story behind these groups? image captionSix men have been accused of planning to kidnap Governor Whitmer, with an additional seven arrested on terrorism charges related to the plot.

Michigan governor was target of alleged far-right kidnapping plot and president’s tweets attacking Whitmer creating The men, some of whom were members of a rightwing, self-styled militia group On Friday Biden accused Trump of “giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our

Nessel said the governor was informed of the investigation and briefed on developments over the past couple of months.

"At times, she and her family had been moved around as a result of activities that law enforcement was aware of," Nessel added.

$10 MILLION BOND

Each of the seven men named in criminal complaints filed by Nessel's office is charged with providing material support for terrorist acts and possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony - both punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

a man looking at the camera: Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor © Reuters/ANTRIM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Two of them - Pete Musico, 46, and Joseph Morrison, 26 - were additionally charged with belonging to a criminal gang and with committing a threat of terrorism. At their arraignment on Thursday, Musico and Morrison were each ordered to remain jailed on a $10 million cash bond, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Michigan AG says governor, family were moved while tracking militia groups

  Michigan AG says governor, family were moved while tracking militia groups Michigan’s attorney general on Friday said that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) was aware for months that authorities were tracking a group of men allegedly plotting to kidnap her, with the governor and her family being forced to “move around” in order to maintain her protection. © Getty Images Michigan AG says governor, family were moved while tracking militia groups "We had been consistently updating the governor as events occurred over the course of the last couple of months, so she was aware of things that were happening," Dana Nessel said in an interview on "CBS This Morning.

The terror attack was planned by members of the group below who were specifically congratulated by Trump. Kyle Rittenhouse may be a member of this group which operates in Michigan AG just said they were trying to start a civil war. Feds charge six militia members in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov.

Several militia members , or militia associates have been arrested, accused of plotting to target The following 7 individuals were charged under Michigan 's anti- terrorism law by Attorney General Nessel. Musico and Morrison are expected to be arraigned on Oct. 9 2 p.m. in Jackson County.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor © Reuters/ANTRIM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Bond for each of the four others was set at $250,000. Michigan prosecutors are working to extradite the seventh defendant from South Carolina, where he was arrested, the statement said. He, too, is charged with gang membership.

Various additional pretrial court proceedings were set for later this month, but no mention was made of any pleas being entered.

In addition to the seven suspects held on state charges, six men were arrested on federal charges of conspiring to kidnap the governor, for which they could face life in prison if convicted.

Michigan, a key swing state in the 2020 presidential race, became a focus of agitation earlier this year by Trump and his supporters, including various militia groups, who opposed strict stay-at-home orders imposed by Whitmer to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

At least three of the defendants charged by the state were among hundreds of protesters, many carrying weapons, who entered the Michigan capitol on April 30 as state lawmakers debated Whitmer's request to extend her emergency public health authority. Photos show all three men were armed.

a man looking at the camera: Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor © Reuters/ANTRIM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Militia members, others charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Both Whitmer and Nessel accused Trump of inflammatory rhetoric that they said has fostered a climate of racism and political extremism. Trump lashed back by calling Whitmer the "lockdown queen" while denying he was encouraging violence or racism.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, N.M.; editing by Bill Tarrant and Rosalba O'Brien)

'They're amateurs': Feds say plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was dangerous, poorly planned .
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens agreed the government had probable cause to charge the six defendants, despite objections by defense lawyers.This is what the prosecution argued in court Friday in convincing a judge to order six men to stand trial on charges they plotted for months to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because they were angry over her lockdown order.

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