Monday, March 29, 2010

Feds Send Message to Michigan Militias

Yesterday, federal authorities launched raids on Michigan's "Hutaree" militia in response to threats allegedly made by militia members against Muslims.

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.

If those helicopters were black, the whole task force must have been supervised by the federal Department of Irony.

It's going to be interesting to find out if members of the Hutaree were making threats or just engaging in the usual survivalist blustering.

For better or worse, there is a difference.

Given that there is a significant Muslim population in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and other areas of Southeastern Michigan, threats have to be taken seriously.

At the same time, there is reason to suspect the Feds of sending a message to Michigan militias that they "mean business" this time. Southeastern Michigan was a militia hotbed during the 1980's while I lived in Ann Arbor. The Michigan Militia was best known but was one of many militia/survivalist groups in the heavily white, rural towns in the area. Most prominently, Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols both had roots in the Michigan militia environment.

In raiding the Hutaree militia, federal authorities might be sending a message to the Michigan militias that they consider all of them to be terrorism threats and that they don't want to see any more Timothy McVeighs coming out of their groups.

Update: Nine members of the Hutaree group were indicted for plotting to kill a policeman and then bomb his funeral. They are also suspected of planning a "covert reconnaisance" of their target in the near future and being resolved to kill “anyone who happened upon the exercise who did not acquiesce to Hutaree demands.” Like the various al-Qaeda wannabes ploting jihad in the United States, the Hutaree's version of Christian survivalism sounds pretty clowinish. It will be interesting to see if the Feds have any convincing evidence of this scenario.

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