Suspects accused of targeting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have a history of ties to self-styled militias. Here's what you need to know about these extremist groups.
People participate in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020. Jeff Kowalsky / AFP via Getty Images
Prosecutors on Thursday indicted six men on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and incited violence against the government.
Many of these members have long been associated with anti-government, extremist movements.
Here's what you need to know about the so-called militias associated with the men charged in the Whitmer case.
You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Prosecutors on Thursday indicted six men on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. According to an FBI affidavit, the suspects have "agreed to unite others in their cause and use violence against multiple state governments they believe are violating the US Constitution," as part of their "recruitment efforts" "a Michigan-based militia group."
Far right agitators have voiced their anger after Whitmer carried out a nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of people, many of whom were armed, came to the state capital last spring.
Encouraged by President Donald Trump, who publicly hugged the groups and called them "very good people", they occupied government property while carrying signs denouncing Whitmer and measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 .
Trump also posted a series of tweets "liberating" several US states, which were welcomed by far-right social media users in support of the anti-government movement.
Many of these members have a long history of ties to anti-government, extremist factions. Here's what you need to know about the extremist anti-government groups linked to the men charged in the Whitmer case:
The Michigan Attorney General and authorities have accused the men of being part of a militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in March AP Photo / David Eggert
Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel announced counterterrorism charges against the men accused of being members or employees of the self-proclaimed "Wolverine Watchmen" militia.
In an affidavit in support of the state's complaint, Brian Russell, a detective sergeant with the Michigan Department of State Police, described the suspects as "an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group that conducted tactical training" and "made terrorist threats against government officials and officials Organizations and provided material support for planned acts of terrorism. "
The suspects are accused of having been recruiting members for the Wolverine Watchment via Facebook since last November.
The "Boogaloo" movement is an extreme right-wing, anti-government movement that has been charged with domestic terrorism
A far-right militia member Boogaloo Bois walks next to protesters demonstrating outside the Metro Division 2 of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department outside of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 29, 2020.
The Boogaloo movement consists of a far-right group that researchers at the Center for Terrorism, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism at Middlebury College have called "the breaking point where government repression eventually meets revolutionary violence by armed citizens".
Business Insider previously reported that "some members use neo-Nazi symbols during protests, including the skull and crossbones balaclava, suggesting white nationalists have identified with aspects of the loose movement."
The group, which organizes its activities online, started in 4chan's white supremacist and libertarian message boards. In June, Facebook called the group a "dangerous organization" and banned movement from its platform, removing hundreds of accounts and over 100 linked groups.
In June, three self-proclaimed members of the Boogaloo movement were arrested on charges of domestic terrorism on suspicion of inciting violence in protests against racism. In the same month, the Department of Homeland Security said that "domestic terrorists advocating the boogaloo are very likely to take advantage of any regional or national situation that creates heightened fear and tension to promote their violent extremist ideology and supporters call to action. "
It did so after an intelligence evaluation by the National Capital Region's Threat Intelligence Consortium warned that the boogaloo may be targeting Washington, DC.
One of the men wore a hat and sweatshirt with the emblem of the "Three Percent", a self-proclaimed anti-government militia.
A deputy sheriff's deputy in Costa Mesa, California applying patches for the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters movement. Screen capture / Reddit
The Three Percenters are an anti-government anti-weapons regulatory group founded in 2008. The group was photographed while guarding the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
"The 3 percent reference stems from the dubious historical claim that only 3 percent of American colonists fought the British during the Revolutionary War," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which identifies the group as a self-proclaimed anti-government militia movement.
NBC News reported that Barry Croft, one of the men indicted in the Whitmer case, wore a "tricorn hat and sweatshirt with the insignia of the three percent", was involved in self-proclaimed militias in the past and promoted "pro-Trump" conspiracy theories who freed Russia from meddling in the 2016 elections. "Adam Fox, who was also charged, had a Facebook profile picture with a Three Percenter label, according to NBC News.
One of the men charged in the alleged conspiracy against Governor Whitmer was part of a Facebook group against banning.
An unaffiliated Michigan militia group stands outside the governor's office after protesters occupied the state capital building during a vote to approve Governor Gretchen Whitmer's emergency / home extension due to coronavirus disease (COVID) -19) Outbreak in the state capital in Lansing, Michigan, USA, April 30, 2020.
Adam Fox was a member of a public Facebook group called Open Michigan, according to NBC News. At the beginning of the pandemic, anti-lockdown protests, including many armed ones, flooded states, including Michigan. Many of these protests were organized in Facebook groups, prompting the social media platform to remove posts that contradicted the state government's instructions.
Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel told Business Insider that these men charged with conspiracy against Whitmer may have been encouraged by President Donald Trump's rhetoric.
"And so your handles, your complaints to the government, seemed further legitimized by the fact that you elected leaders [who support you] - and in one case, of course, our nation's commander in chief, who puts things on his social media." -Feed says, "Free Michigan," said Nettle.
"These people think he's talking to them. He actually said you remember that the governor should sit down and negotiate with these armed gunmen," Nessel told Business Insider. "That's that cover, you know - that legitimacy. That's all they sometimes need to escalate their operations because they feel like they have the support of the president himself."
Read the original article on Business Insider
You should check here to buy the best price guaranteed products.
Eye Opener: One person is killed, another was wounded after Alec Baldwin's prop firearm discharged on movie set
Joey Logano not sure fighting is "ever the right way"
Hollywood reacts to the death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer dead after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on movie set
Former Afghan leader Fawzia Koofi continues fight
Memorial service set for late Colin Powell
1 dead, 1 injured after Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on movie set