Suspect in plot to kidnap Michigan governor arrested in Columbia, officials say

Paul Bellar was appointed a “Sergeant” in the Wolverine Watchmen, according to court documents.
Paul Bellar was appointed a “Sergeant” in the Wolverine Watchmen, according to court documents.(Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WYFF) - One of the people charged with a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was arrested in South Carolina, according to officials.

Ryan Jarvi, with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, said Friday that Paul Edward Bellar was arrested in Columbia.

Jarvi said Bellar was being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, awaiting extradition, and that the process to bring him back to Michigan was underway.

Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others were charged under the state’s anti-terrorism laws for allegedly targeting police and the state Capitol.

Bellar, 21, is charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership, and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

According to the complaint filed against Bellar, he “knowingly provided material support or resources to a terrorist or terrorist organization, to be used in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry out, facilitate, or avoid apprehension for committing an act of terrorism...”

The affidavit in the case said Paul Bellar was appointed a “Sergeant” in the Wolverine Watchmen, which is referred to as a “militia group who recruited members using a social media platform, Facebook, since November 2019.”

It goes on to say Bellar had specific expertise in medical and firearms training and designed tactical exercises for training.

Officials say Bellar “provided plans for tactical maneuvers at trainings, coded language for covert communication, hosted meetings at his residence, provided ammunition, and coordinated logistics for trainings.”

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