Six of the arrested people were charged federally with conspiracy to kidnap, and the other seven members charged by the state were associated with the Wolverine Watchmen militia group that had also planned to attack the state capitol building and incite violence.
According to federal and state officials, their scheme also included plans to overthrow several state governments that the suspects "believe are violating the US Constitution."
At one point, the alleged plotters sought to recruit at least 200 members to storm the state capitol in Lansing and take hostages, but later abandoned the plan in favor of surveilling and kidnapping Whitmer at her vacation home, according to a criminal complaint.
"The individuals in (state) custody are suspected to have attempted to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war, and engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the capitol building of Michigan and to kidnap government officials, including the governor of Michigan," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Democrats have pinned the blame for the incident on Republican President Donald Trump, citing his divisive rhetoric that has often found support among hate groups.