David Brian Stone and his wife, Tina, made no secret about the fact that they were part of a militia, neighbors say. The couple frequently let visitors in military fatigues erect tents in front of their mobile home at the intersection of rural dirt roads, and the sound of gunfire was routine.
“In Michigan, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to be in a militia,” said Tom McDormett, a neighbor. “They would practice shooting, but that’s not a big deal. People do that all the time out here.”
But McDormett watched through binoculars Saturday night as police raided the Stones’ home, tearing off plywood from the base of their two connected single-wide trailers to search under the floors. By Monday, the Stones were in green prison garb in a federal courthouse in Detroit, two of nine defendants facing sedition and weapons charges in connection with what Attorney General Eric Holder called an “insidious plan.”
In an indictment against the nine unsealed Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants, led by Stone, who were plotting to kill law-enforcement officers in hopes of sparking an anti-government uprising.
The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against U.S. troops by insurgents in Iraq.
The Hutaree — a word Stone apparently made up to mean Christian warriors — saw local police as “foot soldiers” for the federal government, which the group viewed as its enemy, along with other participants in what members deemed to be a “New World Order” working on behalf of the Antichrist, the indictment said.
Eight defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, the Justice Department said. The ninth, one of Stone’s two sons, surrendered Monday night, said Andrew Arena, head of the FBI’s field office in Detroit.
The suspects could face a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
They included the Stones’ two sons — Joshua Matthew Stone, 21, who surrendered Monday night, and David Brian Stone Jr., 19. Others were Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; Michael Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich.; Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio.
Piatek, arrested late Saturday near the Chicago suburb of Clarendon Hills, insisted he was not the same Thomas Piatek named in the indictment. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ordered a hearing Wednesday in Hammond, Ind., to establish Piatek’s identity.
A law-enforcement official said the plot appeared to be unconnected to recent threats against Democratic lawmakers who voted for a health-care overhaul. The group — apparently centered in Lenawee County, about 70 miles southwest of Detroit — has been meeting regularly since at least August 2008, the indictment said.
And the group’s Web site suggested it was motivated by apocalyptic religious scenarios more than any fear of socialist takeovers. A rare mention of secular politics on the site is a page devoted to discussion of efforts to unite Europe, with a suggestion that former NATO Secretary General and European Union official Javier Solana might be the Antichrist.
via Nation & World | Militia sought uprising, feds say | Seattle Times Newspaper.
Onward Christian nut jobs. Which belief is more absurd, that an anti-Christ is anything more than a fairytale, or that anyone in this country after 9/11 could have a militia without every electronic conversation by every member being fully monitored?