“Are you guys still planning on kidnapping and assassinating the governor of Michigan or was that just another effort to make people on the Right look like terrorists so you could justify the coming persecution of your political enemies?” conservative radio host Jesse Kelly tweeted, referring to the FBI’s involvement in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year.
The comment came in response to the FBI tweeting on Wednesday: “Protecting the United States from terrorist attacks is the #FBI’s top priority. We work closely with our partners to disrupt violent plots and keep our communities safe from harm. #NatSec.”
It was reported this week that the FBI had informants within the group that allegedly tried to kidnap and kill Whitmer and had been gathering intel and listening in on the plot all along.
“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,” Buzzfeed reported Tuesday.
Other critics swiftly responded to the tweet with various examples of how they feel the FBI botched national security in recent years.
The FBI also has a history of successfully foiling terrorist plots, including in New York City in 2016 when an undercover agent thwarted three Islamic State supporters’ plot to plant bombs at concert venues, subway stations and Times Square.
The bureau also nabbed an Indiana man in 2018 who “had become radicalized online” after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., and planned “more killings in the name of ISIS,” according to the FBI.
Fourteen people who are allegedly part of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen in the plot to kidnap Whitmer have been charged, but they are pushing back saying that they were set up by the FBI due to their political views.
Prosecutors maintain that social media posts, text messages and records show that those charged expressed anti-government sentiments and worked to carry out the plot against the Democratic governor.