Nation’s Governors Receive Letters From Extremist Group

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An extremist group has sent letters to the nation’s governors, demanding that they resign and claiming that if they do not, the governors will be forcibly removed.

Although both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security agree that the warnings come without credible threats of specific violence, they are also saying that the letters’ message could spur other activists to engage in criminal behavior.

The two agencies issued a joint statement on Monday with details about the mailing. Over 30 United States governors received the letters, including the governors of Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Main, Colorado, Rhode Island, Michigan, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio. Nevada’s governor, Jim Gibbons, received not one but four letters, including one sent by fax. They were not handwritten, said a spokesperson for the governor’s office, but did have some handwritten signatures.

Authorities in Carson City, Nevada have increased security at the state Capitol building in wake of the letters, as have officials in other states that were targeted. Metal detectors and x-ray machines, as well as barricades or other objects in from of capitol buildings to prevent vehicles coming too close, are among the security measures being employed.

The letters gave a time limit of three days during which the governors must step down, before a so-called “Restore American Plan” would call for the removal of non-compliant leaders.

The group behind the letters, the Guardians of the Free Republics, is a domestic extremist group. According to its Web site, the plan to “restore America” would entail the peaceful abolishment of parts of the government. The party affiliations of the targeted governors are almost evenly split between Republican and Democrat.

The letters come just days after nine members of an extremist, anti-federal government group, the Hutaree, were arrested in Michigan. A Christian militia organization, the Hutaree had been plotting to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, and then bomb the funeral procession in the hopes of sparking a nationwide uprising.

The statement issued jointly by the FBI and DHS asked police across the country to be on alert. “…while there does not appear to be credible or immediate threats of violence attached to the letters, we are working with state and local authorities and continue to assess the matter,” the statement read.

 

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