LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A 51-year-old man charged in a plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been released from a Wisconsin jail after posting $10,000 cash bail.
WISC-TV reports that Brian Higgins was released Monday night. Authorities allege Higgins, of Wisconsin Dells, was part of a crew conducting surveillance for the kidnapping plot.
He was arrested Thursday and charged on suspicion of material support in an act of terrorism. Authorities say the plotters planned to storm Michigan’s state Capitol building and kidnap officials, including Whitmer.
Higgins was the eighth person charged in the plot.
Seven men purportedly linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were already charged in state court with providing material support for terrorist acts and possession of a firearm while committing a felony.
Federal charges were filed against six others in the alleged conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer.
“While the political rhetoric in our nation may at times be divisive, I am encouraged by the united front our law enforcement community has displayed in response to this indescribable act of terror,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
“These were very credible, and very serious threats to our elected officials and the public in general, and the swift actions taken by state and federal authorities this past week are nothing short of heroic.”
A Michigan State Police affidavit said Higgins assisted four members of an extremist paramilitary organization called the Wolverine Watchmen who took part in surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan. Higgins provided night-vision goggles for the mission, the document said.
“Additionally, he used a mounted digital dash camera located in his vehicle to record the surveillance of the Governor’s home in order to aid in kidnapping plans,” it said.
The state suspects are accused of planning and training to attack the Capitol in Lansing and target law enforcement officers “to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse,” Nessel said.
Higgins was arrested last week in Wisconsin.
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