They're all guilty: Extremist threatened Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton in online posts, says FBI

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A man accused of allegedly conspiring to kidnap Michigan's governor also made threatening online comments about US President Donald Trump, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton apart from other prominent political figures, an FBI agent said in a federal court filing.

News agency The Associated Press quoted special agent Kristopher Long as saying that Barry Croft, a Delaware resident, railed against numerous present and former elected leaders in private Facebook posts.

Croft is one of six purported members of an extremist paramilitary group accused of planning to kidnap Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer because of her shutdown orders to control the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Barry Croft (Image credit: AP)

Long described the posts in an affidavit supporting a request for a warrant to search an account that Croft allegedly created on September 2 and closed on September 26. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the document on Wednesday after The Detroit News reported its contents.

It said that one post on Facebook in May showed a Donald Trump's image with a caption reading, "True colours shining through, wanna hang this mf'er too!!! per cent"

Next day, another post read, "I say we hang everything currently governing us, they're all guilty!! per cent And what a deterrent, Rope!!! per cent."

Other posts spoke of hanging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "for war crimes against humanity," AP quoted from the affidavit.

Another asked, "Which Governor is going to end up dragged off, and hung for treason first?" An exchange between Croft and an unidentified person referred to protests and "potential acts of violence" in South Carolina, including an apparent reference to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, the affidavit said.

According to the report, Croft allegedly wrote on May 4, "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."

A photograph of a noose carried a caption calling for hanging Obama, "both Clinton's, Democrats, Liberals, Muslims" and others including "Ihan Omar" and "A.O.C.," apparent references to Democratic US Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the document said.

Whitmer has repeatedly accused Trump of encouraging extremist behavior with his rhetoric.

In an interview with The Associated Press this month, Whitmer said that Trump had "given safe harbour to hate organisations and domestic terror organisations."

Michigan Office of the Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Image credit: AP)

During a campaign visit on Tuesday to Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump appeared to refer to the alleged plot when he, as quoted by AP, said, "It was our people that helped her out with her problem. I mean, we'll have to see if it's a problem. ... She blamed me, and it was our people that helped her. I don't get it."

Croft, whom the affidavit described as a long-haul truck driver, was ordered transferred to Michigan this month.

A federal judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ruled during an October 16 preliminary hearing there was enough evidence against five other suspects in the alleged kidnap conspiracy to send the case to a grand jury for possible indictments.

Eight men said to be members or associates of a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen and are charged in state court with counts including providing material support for terrorist acts. Some are accused of taking part in the alleged scheme against Whitmer.

Defense attorneys have described the suspects as "big talkers" who never intended to follow through with action.

But investigators say some cased Whitmer's vacation home in northern Michigan and agreed to buy explosives and tactical gear.

(Wth inputs from AP)

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