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Expert explains why Wolverine Watchmen came from Michigan

The Wolverine Watchmen allegedly attempted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

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In this photo Sept. 16, 2020 file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8 six people plotted to try to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home.

In this photo Sept. 16, 2020 file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8 six people plotted to try to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home.

Michigan Office of the Governor via Associated Press

The FBI said Thursday it stopped a plot by a Michigan militia group to “violently overthrow the government and kidnap” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which I wrote about for Deseret.com.

  • A federal affidavit filed Thursday — which was obtained by The Detroit News — said the alleged plot called to kidnap Whitmer.
  • Thirteen people were arrested and charged in the plot.

Amy Cooter, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University, has studied militia groups for more than a decade. And she recently told USA Todaythat Michigan might be a hotbed for these types of groups.

  • Michigan “has always been a hotbed for militia activity,” she said.
  • “The militias in Michigan have always been the kind to which other states’ militias look up to.”

Most groups follow the law. But Cooper told USA Today the rise of social media, increased collaboration between groups and fears over the coming presidential election may make some groups more dangerous.

Whitmer said in remarks Thursday that she blamed President Donald Trump, who she has had a contentious relationship with over the last few months, as I wrote about for Deseret.com.

  • “Just last week, the President of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” she said. “‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. ‘Stand back and stand by.’ Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight.”