Christian Militia Members Arrested on Sedition, WMD Charges

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Nine people have been arrested on sedition and weapons charges for plotting to kill law enforcement officials, in what Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has referred to as an “insidious plan.”

The group, which is based in Michigan and which makes no secret that it is a militia group, calls itself the Hutaree—a word which one of the group’s members, David B. Stone Sr., coined to mean “Christian warriors.” They are right-wing, apocalyptic Christian militants, whose intention in this instance was to foment an uprising by killing police and other authorities whom they deemed “foot-soldiers” of their enemy, the federal government.

A total of nine defendants were arrested in the plot, which involved the killing of an unidentified law enforcement official, followed by a bombing of his or her funeral caravan using IEDs, or improvised explosive devices based on those used by Iraqi insurgents.

Indictments against the nine, which included Stone’s wife and two of their sons, were secretly returned by a grand jury last Tuesday, and unsealed on Monday. Among other information provided by the indictment is the fact that the group has been meeting regularly since August 2008, usually in Lenawee County, Michigan, which lies about 70 miles southwest of Detroit.

The Hutaree are part of an increasing wave of radical, right-wing domestic terrorist groups which are being monitored by the Department of Homeland Security in recent months, following the economic recession and changes on the political landscape—including the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first president of color.

In addition to Christian militant organizations, there has been a rise in extremist anti-immigrant groups, racially motivated hate groups, and so-called “Patriot” groups.

Anticipating attacks and counterattacks, the Hutaree had acquired an arsenal of weaponry, including guns, ammunition and explosives, in addition to medical supplies, communications equipment and military fatigues. They had trained in weapons proficiency, battle drills, and ambush-style attacks.

According to the Web site for the group, its motto is “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive,” and the Hutaree are driven more by apocalyptic and religious fears than by secular political motivations, although the site does briefly discuss European politics. Nevertheless, according to the indictment, the militia was preparing to do battle against a “New World Order,” consisting of the United States federal government and other entities, which is in league with the Antichrist.

Those arrested include residents of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. If convicted on the most serious charges, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, the militia members could face life in prison.

 

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