Militiamen who plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also hoped to place Republican SC governor Henry McMaster ‘in custody’ and ‘take out’ Virginia’s Ralph Northam
- An arrest affidavit from the FBI states how Barry Croft, 44, of Bear, Delaware, targeted the various governors
- A Facebook post from Croft reads: ‘I’ll die in defense of the constitution’ and ‘I’ll be in Columbia, SC, on Friday. They say they want their governor in custody’
- Several posts and comments he made were about Republican governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, according to the FBI
- Posts from his account also expressed anger towards President Trump and Barack Obama
- Croft posted an image of a noose in June and expressed interest in hanging a series of Democrat notables
An arrest affidavit from the FBI states how Barry Croft, 44, of Bear, Delaware, targeted the various governors
A man charged in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap Michigan’s governor also made threatening online comments about President Donald Trump, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and other prominent political figures, an FBI agent said in a federal court filing.
Barry Croft, a Delaware resident, railed against numerous present and former elected leaders in private Facebook posts, special agent Kristopher Long said. Croft is one of six purported members of an extremist paramilitary group accused of scheming to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of her shutdown orders to control the coronavirus.
Long described the posts in an affidavit supporting a request for a warrant to search an account that Croft allegedly created Sept. 2 and closed Sept. 26. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the document Wednesday after The Detroit News reported its contents.
It said one Facebook post in May showed an image of Trump with a caption reading, ‘True colors shining through, wanna hang this mf’er too!!!%’
Another post the next day said, ‘I say we hang everything currently governing us, they’re all guilty!!% And what a deterrent, Rope!!!%’
Other profanity-laced posts spoke of hanging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ‘for war crimes against humanity,’ the affidavit said. Another asked, ‘Which Governor is going to end up dragged off, and hung for treason first?’
The arrest affidavit also details how the FBI deduced that the South Carolina politician was among those targeted by Barry Croft, 44, of Bear, Delaware.
The FBI obtained their federal search warrant on October 8, allowing them to go through Croft’s Facebook account. On the page, investigators found messages ‘plotting potential acts of violence.’
A May 3 message from Croft to another user reads: ‘He may be first.’
The other user responded: ‘SC.’
Agents determined that the message referenced the Republican governor of South Carolina.
Croft hoped to take Republican governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina in ‘custody’
The Republican governor is the third that was targeted by the alleged conspirators, who wanted to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. An FBI agent testified in court that the group mentioned ‘taking out’ Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam
‘Yup. I’m going. With Sword,’ Croft replied on the social media platform.
The next day, Croft declared: ‘I’ll die in defense of the constitution’ and ‘I’ll be in Columbia, SC, on Friday. They say they want their governor in custody. I want to grab them all and hold trial.’
The Republican governor is the third that was targeted by the alleged conspirators. An FBI agent testified in court that the group mentioned ‘taking out’ Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
Croft said in a May 25 post: ‘Which governor is going to end up dragged off and hung for treason first? It’s really a spin the bottle match at this point, and I’m sure a few mayors are in the running.’
The post also included an image with a noose, the FBI shared.
Croft posted an image of a noose in June and expressed interest in hanging a series of Democrat notables
In addition to expressing a want to enact violence against the governors, Croft is said to have also shared a desire to hang Trump, Obama, the Clintons and anyone in the government
‘I’m for hanging Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians,’ Croft said in a June post.
In addition to expressing a want to enact violence against the governors, Croft is said to have also shared a desire to hang Trump, Obama, the Clintons and anyone in the government.
FBI investigators say the man wanted to ‘go to war against the government of North Carolina.’ They say he also discussed performing a citizen’s arrest of McMaster.
‘There is not one ———— serving in this bull—- government that I don’t want to take, stick to a ————- tree, and dangle…,’ Croft said in a Facebook video on May 28, the FBI shared.
Investigators first started looking into Croft in October 2019, when he ‘attempted to provide support to Kevin Massey, who had been convicted of firearms offenses following his involvement in a ‘militia patrol’ on the border of Texas and Mexico,’ an affidavit states.
L-R: Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta and Ty Garbin are among the 13 militia men charged over the plots. Fox and Croft were believed to be ringleaders
Governors Northan and Whitmer never came to any harm from the plots. Whitmer was informed of the plots and was moved around to ensure she was never at risk.
The FBI discovered the plot through an informant who is also part of a known militia that the men tried to recruit from as part of a wider effort to ‘take’ the state capitol with 200 people.
Adam Fox and Croft were the ringleaders, according to the affidavit.
They ‘agreed to unite others in their cause’ to ‘overthrow’ multiple state governments that they believe are violating the US. Constitution’.
In one of the alleged meetings, he talked about kidnapping Whitmer as she made her way into her vacation home, and told one of the other men: ‘Grab the f***** Governor. Just grab the b***h’.’
The alleged plot began with a meeting where the men discussed forming their own ‘self-sufficient’ society in early June.
‘At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the US Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,’ the FBI affidavit claimed.
More than a dozen men have been arrested in connection to the plots. The men were part of a wider, government agitator movement known as a ‘boogaloo’ movement, according to the FBI.