Experts: Alleged plot against governor signals ominous shift

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Experts say far-right groups in the U.S. are taking a more dangerously radical turn as four men go on trial in an alleged scheme to kidnap Michigan’s governor.

The defendants are charged with conspiring in 2020 to abduct Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Police foiled the alleged plot before it could be carried out.

The trial begins Tuesday in federal court in Grand Rapids. Two other suspects have pleaded guilty.

Scholars who follow paramilitary activity in Michigan and elsewhere say groups that surfaced in the 1990s railed against government but showed little interest in violence.

But they say newer offshoots of the so-called “militia” movement are taking a harder line.