- Dan described learning of the group — known as the Wolverine Watchmen — through a Facebook algorithm that he believed made the suggestion based on his interactions with other Facebook pages that support the Second Amendment and firearms training.
“I was scrolling through Facebook one day and they popped up as a suggestion post,” Dan said. “I clicked on the page and it had a few questions to answer.”
After answering the questions satisfactorily, Dan, an Army veteran who described himself as a Libertarian, was admitted into the group and told to download an encrypted messaging app called Wire so he could communicate in secret with other members. The app prohibited screenshots and would periodically delete all messages.
Dan's acceptance into the Facebook group was the beginning of his journey as a confidential FBI “human source” that took him to protests at the state Capitol and to rural training exercises with members of the group who expressed a desire to hurt and kill law enforcement officers and politicians. Dan testified he sometimes wore a wire and feared for his safety, eventually deciding to sell his house when his address became known.