Seven arrested in FBI raids linked to Adrian-based Christian militia group Hutaree whose members describe themselves as Christian soldiers preparing for the arrival and battle with the anti-Christ.
ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) — Federal agents conducted raids over the weekend in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio and arrested at least three people, the F.B.I. said Sunday. A militia leader in Michigan said the target of at least one of the raids had been a Christian militia group.
Federal warrants were sealed, but an F.B.I. spokeswoman, Sandra Berchtold, said there had been activity in two southeast Michigan counties near the Ohio state line. She would not say whether they were tied to the raids in the other states.
Scott Wilson, an F.B.I. spokesman in Cleveland, said agents arrested two people on Saturday after raids in two towns in Ohio. A third arrest was made in northeast Illinois on Sunday, a day after a raid took place just over the border in northwest Indiana.
Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a telephone call on Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, who said their property in southeast Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“They said they were under attack by the A.T.F. and wanted a place to hide,” Mr. Lackomar said. “My team leader said, ‘No thanks.’ ”
The team leader was cooperating with the F.B.I. on Sunday, Mr. Lackomar said.
He said about 8 to 10 members of Hutaree trained with his organization twice in the last three years. His group holds monthly training sessions focusing on survival training and shooting practice, Mr. Lackomar said.
At least seven people, including some from Michigan, have been arrested in raids by a FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana as part of an investigation into an Adrian-based Christian militia group, a person familiar with the matter said.
The suspects are expected to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Monday.
On Sunday, a source close to the investigation in Washington, D.C. confirmed that FBI agents were conducting activities in Washtenaw and Lenawee counties over the weekend in connection to Hutaree, a Christian militia group. Detroit FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold told The Detroit News the federal warrants in the case are under court seal and declined further comment.
Sources have said the FBI was in the second day of raids around the southeastern Michigan city of Adrian that are connected to a militia group, known as the Hutaree, an Adrian-based group whose members describe themselves as Christian soldiers preparing for the arrival and battle with the anti-Christ.
WXYZ-TV reports that helicopters were spotted in the sky for much of Saturday night, and agents set up checkpoints throughout the area. Witnesses told the station that it was like a small army had descended on the area. The Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are also involved in the raids.
Mike Lackomar, of Michiganmilitia.com, said both The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and the Michiganmilitia.com were not a part of the raid.
Lackomar said he heard from other militia members that the FBI targeted the Hutaree after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations.
“Last night and into today the FBI conducted a raid against homes belonging to the Hutaree. They are a religious cult. They are not part of our militia community,” he said.
This is the Hutaree website if you want to check these folk out….oh dear!
Fox news have also covered this one.
This is big breaking news on the US networks.
UPDATE: This has now hit the UK news networks: