Nine members of a presumed Christian militia group called Hutaree (which the group says means “Christian warrior”) based in Michigan were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Wednesday.
The group was further charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. According to reports, eight members of the group, including one woman, were arrested over the weekend and a ninth individual remains at large.
A statement by the FBI said that the Hutaree planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who would have gathered for the funeral. The agency said that according to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with improvised explosive devices with explosively formed projectiles,
The FBI further said that the group’s basic aim was to oppose by force the authority of the United States government; the Hutaree members view local, state, and federal law enforcement as the “brotherhood,” their enemy, and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict.
In addition to the planned attack on law enforcement officials, it was further alleged that David Brian Stone, the Hutaree’s leader, obtained information about explosive devices over the Internet and e-mailed diagrams of such devices to a person he believed capable of manufacturing the devices. The FBI statement said that Stone then had his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, and others gather materials necessary for the manufacturing of such devices.
Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said, “This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society. The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”
According to reports the Hutaree describes its doctrine as based on the testimony of Jesus and warns of a looming battle with the antichrist. “The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield, if so God wills it,” the group was reported as saying in its literature.