Michigan’s Attorney General said Tuesday a man threatened to kill President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, promising to “be the catalyst for a new American revolution,” the latest case of an alleged plot against U.S. lawmakers as officials warn of a rise in domestic terrorism threats across the country.
Joshua Docter, 21, of Holland, Michigan, turned himself in to authorities and was charged with one count of threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
The attorney general’s office said Docter posted in January multiple threats to shoot and kill the Democratic lawmakers on iFunny, a Russian-owned platform with a reported connection far-right extremists.
Docter also had information on his phone about how to make a bomb and where to find the necessary materials, according to the attorney general’s office.
The case stems from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation later referred to Michigan law enforcement officials. In October, the FBI said it thwarted a plot by six militia group members to kidnap Whitmer, who became a target of Republican attacks after she tightened coronavirus restrictions last year.
What To Watch For
U.S. officials have increasingly warned of domestic terrorism threats in the wake of the Jan. 6, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers attempted to certify electoral votes for President Joe Biden. The FBI has released hundreds of photos as part of a sweeping investigation into the insurrection, which led to at least five deaths and more than 300 charges. The Department of Homeland Security in February said it would provide a $77 million grant to state and local governments to combat domestic terrorism, one of the first policy moves by Biden to respond to the threats.
“The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in early March.
What To Watch For
The charges against Docter, which were filed in Ottawa County District Court, are classified as felonies and each carry up to 20 years in prison. Docter is scheduled to appear in court April 8 and April 15.