Two former Marines and the dozen other men charged with plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan purportedly planned to stage an armed takeover of the capitol building and conduct public executions of government officials, according to the state’s attorney general.
ABC 7 Chicago reported that the 14 men planned drew up a ‘Plan B’ should their initial attempt to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer fail, a scheme that involved “a takeover of the Michigan capitol building by 200 combatants who would stage a week-long series of televised executions of public officials.”
According to government documents, the group’s ‘Plan C’ involved torching the building and leaving behind no survivors.
Whitmer has faced anger from numerous anti-government activists for implementing aggressive policies to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.
“We are one of the few states that does not ban guns in our state capitol building, and clearly there have been threats made on the lives of our legislators,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told ABC 7 Chicago.
“You probably saw the pictures back from in April, where we had armed gunman, some of them, same defendants in this case, that were hovering over state senators with long guns, screaming and yelling at them as they were deliberating, as they were discussing legislation and as they were voting, so that remains a big concern to me in a very scary scenario.”
The two former Marines — Daniel Harris and Joseph Morrison — were among the men arrested and charged by state and federal authorities over the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer in early October.
Six men, including Harris — a former rifleman who enlisted in the Corps in June 2015 and left as a corporal in June 2019 after serving with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina — were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Harris allegedly discussed launching an attack on a Michigan State Police Facility before kidnapping Whitmer, saying in an encrypted group chat that the group should, “Have one person go to her house. Knock on the door and when she answers it just cap her.”
Morrison — who went by the online nickname ‘Boogaloo Bunyan’ — was among seven men charged with terrorism and gang membership for plotting violent acts as a member of an “anti-government, anti-law enforcement” paramilitary group known as Wolverine Watchmen, the Associated Press reported.
Morrison joined the Marine Corps Reserve in March 2015 and served as an engineer equipment mechanic with the Engineer Support Company, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group in Battle Creek, Michigan, until his Oct. 8 discharge, which was not connected to the alleged plots, according to the Marine Corps.
“We can confirm Joseph Morrison and Daniel Harris were previously in the Marine Corps,” the service said in a statement at the time of their arrest. “We are aware of the circumstances surrounding the two individuals, and will assist the investigating authorities in any way we can.”
“The serious allegations are not a reflection of the Marine Corps, do not reflect the oath every Marine takes to support and defend the constitution, and do not align with our core values of honor, courage, and commitment.”