BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Delaware man is among the co-conspirators in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor over measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Experts say the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor underscores the threat domestic terror groups pose to the country.
“Over the last couple years, we’re seeing more and more those types of groups move towards acting—acting in terms of planning something out to commit an act of violence,” Shawn Devroude, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Baltimore, said.
Devroude said 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic terrorism in 24 years, since the Oklahoma City bombing.
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There’s no indication these groups are letting up in 2020.
“We’ve seen the groups that can potentially act in violence speaking out,” he said.
CBS News obtained an FBI bulletin warning that anti-government extremists are potentially focused on sparking violence “in the next three months” and that “presidential elections” could be a “flashpoint.”
“Certainly, as we go into the election, that’s just targets of opportunity for any group,” Devroude said.
The alert is heightened at the FBI Baltimore field office, too. Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a Delaware resident, which is part of its jurisdiction.
Director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security Michael Greenberger says the FBI is likely tracking several groups in Maryland at least showing warning signs.
“In every state in the country, the FBI is tracking people who are attempting to mobilize in a way that threatens civil order through kidnapping, through insurrection,” Greenberger said.
The FBI would not comment on any specific threat but said the public should alert them if they notice any threat of violence.
“When it starts to evolve that way, where there’s that threat of violence coupled with some type of ideology behind it, that’s what folks need to be on alert for,” Devroude said.
The FBI says they have the same focus they always have on international terrorism. The main difference is, as the FBI director testified: the threats and fatalities from domestic groups, largely white supremacists, have gone up in the past two years.