So apparently, extremist groups in Michigan are a real problem.
Weeks after the FBI announced that they thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, two members of a white supremacist group accused of intimidating a Michigan family were arrested Thursday following an investigation by the FBI and the state police that began in 2019.
From the Associated Press:
Justen Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, and Alfred Gorman, 35, of Taylor, were charged with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message and using computers to commit a crime, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.
The charges followed an investigation by Michigan State Police and the FBI into a group called The Base and a December 2019 incident in which a family in Dexter saw men in dark clothing shining a light and taking photos on the front porch of their home. The photos were uploaded onto The Base’s social media platform channel along with a caption that alluded to a person involved with an antifa podcast, according to authorities.
Nessel’s office said the group was targeting that person, but that he had never lived at the home, which is about 52 miles (83 kilometers) west of Detroit.
The Anti Defamation League defines The Base as “a small militant neo-Nazi organization that emerged mid-2018 and is primarily active in the U.S.”
We’ve written about them before.
Gorman and Watkins—who Nessel’s office said is the professed leader of the group and “reportedly ran a hate camp that included tactical and firearms training,” AP reports—are being held in the Washtenaw County Jail pending arraignment.
Nessel’s office also said the leaders of The Base have operated online chat rooms that they used as a meeting place for group members and encouraged them to participate in military-style training in preparation for an insurgency against the U.S. government.
“Using tactics of intimidation to incite fear and violence constitutes criminal behavior,” Nessel said in a statement, AP reports. “We cannot allow dangerous activities to reach their goal of inflicting violence and harm on the public.”