Over the weekend, the FBI raided a Michigan Christian militia group
called Hutaree. The group sought to "levy war" against the government
and planned to execute a local law enforcement official, according to an indictment unsealed
Monday morning in court. On their Web site, members call themselves
Christian soldiers arming themselves for the coming of the Antichrist.
What else is known about this group?
Anti-Government, write Paul Egan and Mike
Wilkinson at The Detroit News: "The eight men and one woman are
members of the Hutaree, identified as an 'anti-government extremist
organization' in the indictment, and each faces three to five charges,
including sedition, attempts to use weapons of mass destruction,
teaching/demonstrating use of explosive materials and two counts of
carrying weapons in relation to a crime of violence. The Adrian-based
group has said it is training in modern combat techniques for a
prophesized battle with the anti-Christ ... Their goal was to 'intimidate
and demoralize law enforcement, diminishing their ranks and rendering
them ineffective,' according to the indictment. The group then intended
to use the incident to spark a 'war' against law enforcement, using
bombs, ambushes and prepared fighting positions."
They Have an Apocalyptic Bent, says
Michael Lackomar, a team leader
of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia: "They are very religiously
driven, they believe that it is their duty to prepare to assist Jesus
Christ when he returns and do battle with the forces of Satan."
Heavily Armed, 17-Strong, notes Justin Elliott at Talking Points
Memo: "Hutaree's Web site features Youtube videos of heavily armed men
in fatigues training in the countryside ... Its not clear how large
Hutaree is, but a group picture on the front page of the site shows 17
men, all holding large rifles." The site's "About Us" section says:
only thing on earth to save the testimony and those who follow it, are
the members of the testimony, til the return of Christ in the clouds.
We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ
and save those who aren't. We will still spread the word, and fight to
keep it, up to the time of the great coming.
to the Mahdi Army in Iraq, observes Juan Cole: "I am struck that Hutaree
has a great deal in common with the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in
Iraq. The Hutaree militia seems to recruit from the poor or lower middle
class. Michigan's real unemployment rate is said to be 17%, and for
many Michigan workers there have been years of hopelessness and
joblessness, inducing despair and anger. The Mahdi Army likewise drew on
Iraqi unemployed and angry youth. Many Sadrists believe that the Mahdi
or Muslim messiah will soon come."
More Background JClifford at Irregular Times writes: "The Hutarees used
the Bible to justify a mission of religious violence in the belief that
the Hutarees would eventually be in a military conflict against the
AntiChrist and the AntiChrist’s human followers. The motto of the
Hutarees is Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony
of Jesus Christ alive."
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