Monday, March 29, 2010

Militia in Michigan

From the Detroit News:

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.

The conventional wisdom is that the militia movement is something that is a Western-state phenomenon; Idaho, Montana, that sort of place, but these folks are everywhere, especially in rural areas in states where the economy is suffering. I remember seeing them in northern Michigan in the early 1990’s right after the Oklahoma City bombing, and Timothy McVeigh was involved with militia groups in Michigan. And as Oliver Willis notes, “These groups seem to pop up when America has the nerve to elect a Democratic president, let alone a black one.”

Steve M has some more thoughts and insight at NMMNB.