UPDATED: The government alleges that nine people connected to an extreme Christian militia had discussed killing a police officer, then attacking the officer's funeral to kill more police. From the AP:
"It is believed by the Hutaree that this engagement would then serve as a catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the government," the indictment charges.
Here's a copy of the indictment, viewable as a PDF. The authorities moved now because the group was allegedly planning a reconnaissance mission in April. The government describes the group's enemies as including, not just the feds, but state and local police, who were viewed as "foot soldiers." Federal employments were on the wrong side. As was, well, anybody who didn't agree with their views, the indictment alleges.
Here's the group's Web site. The Detroit Free Press' Browser blog also found the group's YouTube channel. The Freep has a good overview of the case here. They got this quote from one suspect's ex-wife.
She said he went from teaching people how to use handguns to talking about the end of the world.“I just couldn’t go along with what he believed in. He started to take it too far,” Donna Stone said.
These guys really loved nicknames. The indictment lists "Captain Hutaree," "Joe Stonewall," "Azzurlin," "Pale Horse" and others as aliases.
PREVIOUSLY: The AP -- again, quoting unnamed sources -- is now saying the case might involve something more than just gun charges. The sources say the raids were tied to a plot to kill police officers. Snip:
People familiar with the case against seven suspects arrested by the FBI this weekend say the case revolves around a plot to kill police officers.
Two law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that members of the group in the Midwest had planned multiple attacks on police officers or other law enforcement personnel as a way of acting out their hatred for the government.
PREVIOUSLY: The FBI conducted raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio over the weekend, arresting seven people who will appear in federal court today, the AP reports. The government isn't saying anything on the record, but the wire service quotes an unnamed official who says that it's a gun case. And it looks like there is militia involvement.
It wasn't clear what prompted the raids, but Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group. They said their property in southeast Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Lackomar.
"They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide," Lackomar said. "My team leader said, 'no thanks.'"
Hat Tip: Many thanks, Keith!
(AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)