Monday, March 29, 2010

Christian terrorist wannabes busted

Hutaree: Preparing to serve Jesus by mass murder of cops?

At least that's what the FBI is alleging about the nine members of a Christian-themed militia group called "Hutaree" in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio they just busted.

According to this report, 9 Hutaree members face federal charges of conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction 03/29/10:

A local militia group that twice helped Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies search for missing people had discussed killing a law enforcement officer, then attacking officers who attended the funeral, a federal indictment alleges. ...

Nine members of Hutaree - described by authorities as an anti-government extremist organization - have been indicted on charges of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. All are in custody. ...

According to the indictment, the leader of Hutaree, David Brian Stone (known as RD), was plotting to kill an unspecified member of law enforcement, then attack law enforcement vehicles in the funeral procession motorcade with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Militia members say that Stone also is the group's pastor. According to the indictment, his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, provided materials to manufacture such devices. David Stone had researched the devices on the Internet and emailed diagrams of them to someone he thought could build them, the indictment alleges. ...

All are charged with seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and two counts possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. Some face additional charges. If convicted, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Cops and prosecutors do make mistakes. And many initial terrorism charges in the last ten years have turned out once they went to trial to be considerably less fearsome than the initial charges sounded. So we'll see what the federal prosecutors can actually document in court.

The press doesn't call groups like this "Christian terrorists". For that matter, the American press is now reluctant to call any domestic group of white people planning violence "terrorists". But this Hutaree group apparently defines itself as specifically Christian. Many American violent "militia"-type groups are influenced by radical religious ideologies like Christian Identity or Christian Reconstructionism. And if what the charges allege are correct, their plan was to kill cops with a political and religious goal.

Here are some articles on the arrest, the Hutaree group and the charges:

Dave Neiwert knows a lot about this violent far-right scene, and has been warning for a while about the effects of increasingly prevalent "eliminationist" rhetoric from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. He writes about Hutaree in Hutaree militia planned to attack, kill law-enforcement officers and their families Crooks and Liars 03/29/10.

This is a copy of the indictment.

At least El País will call them "Christian extremists": El FBI detiene a extremistas cristianos que planeaban atentados contra el Gobierno por Antonio Caño 29.03.2010. The article itself misunderstands what this type of "militia" group is though.

Happy Easter From the Religious Far-Right: "Christian" Militia Suspected Police-Killing Plot by Frank Schaeffer Huffington Post 03/29/10

Marcy Wheeler summarizes some notable aspects of the Hutaree group: The Militiagan Wolverines Emptywheel 03/19/10.

And Blue Texan in In the Wake of Arrests in Three States, Right-Wingers Rush to Defend Terror Suspects, Criticize FBI Firedoglake 03/29/10 points to a disturbing trend among some prominent rightwing bloggers in response to initial reports about the indictments of would-be domestic terrorists planning to kill cops. Including one from our old friend Donald Douglas of the American Power blog.

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