Michigan law enforcement is on high alert after the FBI revealed an alleged plot by extremist groups to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also involved a “plan to target and kill police.”
“We’re cautious. We’re absolutely more careful,” said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. “This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. If you’re mad at the government, you’re mad at the police.”
The alleged plot was unveiled last Thursday when the U.S. Department of Justice charged six men with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, which authorities said they wanted to carry out before Election Day. On the same day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel brought charges against seven other men that included supporting terrorism, gang membership, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.
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Officials said the suspects were attempting to trigger “civil war” with a detailed plan to abduct the governor and attack other elected officials at the Statehouse. Part of the plot included plans to target police.
FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask II cited the risk to law enforcement officers in a criminal complaint filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court:
“The militia group had already been brought to the attention of the FBI by a local police department in March 2020 when members of the militia group were attempting to obtain the addresses of local law enforcement officers,” the filing says. “At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plan to target and kill police officers and that person agreed to become a CHS (confidential human source).”
Shaw and others said the police are on high alert as risk continues to evolve beyond traffic stops and sitting in police cars to getting fake calls for service and targeting police when they’re out of uniform.
State Police are constantly evaluating the credibility of threats against troopers and facilities and taking measures to reduce potential for harm, Shaw said.
Michigan State Police are assigned to protect the governor. Whitmer thanked troopers for their commitment to public service after officials made the arrests in the federal case.
The Free Press interviewed current and former law enforcement officers who said the threat to Michigan police by extremist groups