A few things jump out. First, this alleged plot, detailed by federal and state officials, was very plausible. It’s frightening to contemplate, but the alleged kidnapping scheme could well have succeeded had it not been intercepted by law enforcement authorities.
That leads to another disturbing element of the alleged plot. The defendants’ sole motivation here was political. They did not, apparently, seek money or the kind of retribution seen in many murders and murder conspiracies when the target is personally known to the defendants. Rather, they appeared to targeted Whitmer purely for extremist political purposes.
This case should put to rest any controversy about whether the threat of far-right extremism is real and pervasive. This case demonstrates that there are people in the United States who are allegedly eager enough to risk their own lives and liberty to carry out a coordinated attack on a public figure purely for political purposes. And our modern technology and easy access to weapons and explosives makes it all too easy for those who are committed enough to turn plans into action.