Last fall, Americans learned of the success that our government had when it came to foiling a planned kidnapping plot. Right-wing militia members were said to have had plans of kidnapping Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. They also planned to blow up a bridge and were going to carry out any number of dangerous plans.
Of course, the story terrified all those who read it. The only solace that we could take was that the perpetrators would be brought to justice for their heinous plans. As always, there is far more to the story than what we were told initially. The additional details that are leaking out at the moment are even more scary.
Buzzfeed’s deep dive on the matter is a must-read. The FBI has their own account of how the attack was broken up but it differs greatly from the account that is being given by those who were directly involved. The militia members were getting ready to plan their attack and they had an Iraqi War veteran among their ranks.
They also had a man who was quite experienced with plastic explosives and a Wisconsin biker gang member. These men were all present when they took a trip to the governor’s summer cabin to scope out the premises. There was a bridge nearby, which they were planning to blow up. What they did not know was that the men who were mentioned above were all heavily involved with the FBI.
One of the men was an undercover agent and the other two were wearing wires at the time. Per Buzzfeed:
“For six months, the Iraq War vet had been wearing a wire, gathering hundreds of hours of recordings. He wasn’t the only one. A biker who had traveled from Wisconsin to join the group was another informant. The man who’d advised them on where to put the explosives — and offered to get them as much as the task would require — was an undercover FBI agent. So was a man in one of the other cars who said little and went by the name Mark.
Just over three weeks later, federal and state agents swooped in and arrested more than a dozen men accused of participating in what a federal prosecutor called a “deeply disturbing” criminal conspiracy hatched over months in secret meetings, on encrypted chats, and in paramilitary-style training exercises. Seven of the men who had driven to Birch Lake that night would end up in jail…
The defendants, for their part, see it very differently. They say they were set up.”
This is typical behavior for most suspects. No one wants to take the blame when they are caught red-handed like this. It’s easier to deflect. On the other hand, the stories that these men have told are enough to give anyone serious pause. Is this really a simple case of overly cocky would-be criminals falling into the hands of informants or were they truly involved in the planning?
The explosives event was the undercover Fed. He’s the one who promised to obtain what they needed and it is hard to believe that the plan to blow up the bridge would have happened without his say-so. The veteran was the one who is heard talking down to those who are considered to be having second thoughts. It sounds like an awful lot like he was talking them into the plan.
These were not the only informants and federal agents that were involved. Unless these agents were present and able to guide the steps of these wannabe criminals, how far would this plot have gotten? That’s the question that is being asked by Buzzfeed and we have no choice but to consider it as thoroughly as possible. We are not sure where we stand on this as of yet but one thing is for sure: we are going to be watching this story closely.