Federal law enforcement agencies held raids on groups in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana on March 27 and 28, 2010, arresting eight individuals who were members of the Christian extremist militia “Hutaree,” which a federal indictment describes as an “anti-government extremist organization which advocates violence against local, state, and Federal law enforcement.” They have been charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, seditious conspiracy, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. A bond hearing is scheduled for the arrested on March 31 at 1 PM. The Wall Street Journal also suggests that one of the indicted may have been an undercover federal agent.
On the night of March 29, 2010, the ninth member of the Hutaree militia indicted, Joshua Matthew Stone, was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement agencies. The Detroit News reports that “He faces charges that include sedition and use of weapons of mass destruction. Stone was allegedly the second-in-command of the Hutaree, a group that describes itself as a Christian militia preparing to battle the forces of the Antichrist. His father, David Brian Stone, was its alleged leader.”
The federal indictment states that some “HUTAREE members are identified by their tiger strip camouflage uniforms with a distinct should patch which contains a black cross, two brown vertical pillars which form the letter “H’ in combination with the black cross, two red spears, a brown V shape at the base of the cross symbolizing the supporting hands of the HUTAREE, and the initials ‘CCR’.” (CCR is for the group “Colonial Christian Republic.”) (See link to Adobe Acrobat PDF file of full 12 page Federal Grand Jury Indictment.) The Hutaree Militia was on the list of militia groups tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The Department of Justice states that “According to the indictment, Hutaree members view local, state, and federal law enforcement as the ‘brotherhood’, their enemy, and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict. The indictment further alleges that the Hutaree planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction. Subsequently, and in furtherance of this plan, David Brian Stone, the Hutaree’s leader, obtained information about such devices over the internet and emailed diagrams of such devices to a person he believed capable of manufacturing the devices. He then had his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, and others gather materials necessary for the manufacturing of such devices.”
“According to the indictment, in June 2009, David Brian Stone and his other son, David Brian Stone, Jr., taught other Hutaree members how to make and use explosive devices intending or knowing that the information would be used to further a crime of violence. In addition, the grand jury charged all nine defendants with carrying or possessing a firearm during a crime of violence on at least one occasion. U.S. Attorney McQuade said, ‘Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement
community demanded intervention at this time.'”
“Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said, ‘This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society. The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States. The FBI would like to thank our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who are member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, for their assistance in this case.”
U.S. Government Viewed Militia Group Planning Near-Term Attack in April
On March 30, 2010, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told the Associated Press that “FBI agents moved quickly against Hutaree because its members were planning an attack sometime in April.” AP reported that U.S. Attorney McQuade said that “federal authorities had been monitoring members of a Michigan-based Christian militia for some time but were forced to “take them down” over the weekend after learning of an imminent threat against police.”
The Hutaree videos posted on their YouTube page include explosion of flammable bombs, sniper training, and mock booby trap and killing of troops. In the Hutaree YouTube videos, the group members hide their faces behind masks.
Hutaree’s web page had a scrolling announcement in red that read “Training April 24th contact headquarters immediately.”
Hutaree Militia Sought Christian Extremist “Colonial Christian Republic”
The Hutaree militia sought a Christian extremist “Colonial Christian Republic” or “CCR,” as they referenced it. The CCR was part of their “flag,” and part of their military arm patch. On the Hutaree web site, they called for their members to be “Christian warriors,” in described their values they believe that Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword.” Their doctrine states that they believed their armed military efforts were necessary to prepare for the anti-Christ, mocking “the Christian church of today” as “The foolish ones are the ones that expect Christ to arrive too soon,” and justifying their military goals and planning as “based on faith.”
Hutaree Friends and Supporters
Hutaree’s Facebook site showed over 30 supporters, including members and promoters of various militia groups and militia causes. Hutaree’s online presence included a group photograph of some of their members in militia uniforms.
In addition, Hutaree’s Facebook site, one of their “friends” is “Liberty Tree Radio” which also promotes this same CCR logo of Hutaree, as well promoting music for a pro-Confederate States of America group led by Robert Lloyd that seeks to create a “Southern movement” to repeal the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, making freed slaves citizens after the U.S. Civil War. Robert Lloyd tells viewers that the “14th Amendment has go to go…”.
Friends of the Hutaree’s YouTube video page include supporters of the Ku Klux Klan, promoters of the Neo Nazi diatribe Turner Diaries, promoters of Confederate States of the United States, and others promoting “white power” and “Aryan” causes.
Hutaree promotes a group called the “Patriot Broadcasting Network” in Michigan, and Militias in Michigan and Ohio. It also promotes a group called “Poker Face” who distributes the”American Freedom Radio” that supports 9/11 conspiracy views and related groups.
Local Michigan Individual’s Reaction; Culture of Weapons, Hate
The Detroit News reports that the Adrian, Michigan area is “no stranger to controversial anti-government movements,” and a number of those they interviewed felt there was nothing to be concerned about. Peter Hayes of Hayes Insurance Agency tells the Detroit News that “I don’t know what they were doing, but they apparently hadn’t caused any trouble here that anyone knew of,” and that “it seemed like a lot of overkill to me this weekend.”
The Detroit News also reports that “Adrian, the Lenawee County seat, is the home base of the Rev. Rick Strawcutter, whose low-power radio station “Radio Free Lenawee” garnered attention for broadcasts stridently denouncing the federal government before it was shut down by the FCC in 2001 because it hadn’t obtained the proper broadcast license.” “Strawcutter, 59, also produced a widely distributed anti-government video, ‘America in Peril,’ which was taped inside his church in 1993…. Last week, he posted a YouTube video in which he lambasted Washington, D.C., politicians. ‘These people are so drunk with power,’ he said. ‘They’re pulling off a dictatorship … maybe this is the last stop, and there’ll be no more elections.’ Strawcutter insisted he has never advocated violence.”
The National Radio Club has a report on “Radio Free Lenawee” and its canceling by the FCC for failure to obtain a proper broadcast license. In the National Radio Club posted report, “The pastor has been operating the station without a license since 1996. The program often has featured nationally known conservative speakers, and the pastor talks about everything from gun control to his own anti-government views. He has been criticized by national watchdog groups, which say he has links to some of the most widely known hate groups in the country. When federal agents first started looking into the station, the pastor kept a gun in the station room.” “The pastor sells videos in the backroom of his 250-member church that offer anti-government rhetoric and Jewish conspiracy beliefs. He has said he believes blacks and whites should not marry and homosexuals in prison should be executed.” The report also states that Pete Hayes with Hayes Insurance Agency, Inc. (also mentioned in the Detroit News report) advertised on the “Radio Free Lenawee” to support Strawcutter, quoting Hayes as stating “”I was just doing it to support him… He’s a very intelligent person.”
The Toledo Blade reported on Strawcutter: “‘He’s a popular figure with people in the neo-Nazi movement,’ says Dr. John Nutter, a former Michigan State University professor who has infiltrated such groups.”
ABC reports that “Brittany Bryant, who is engaged to David Stone Jr., son of the Hutaree’s leader and one of the members arrested in the sweep, said federal officials got it wrong. ‘I don’t think they’re dangerous,’ Bryant said. ‘They’re not doing anything wrong. They’re doing what they want to do.'”
The Detroit Free Press reports on Facebook “Images posted to the public account of Tina Kelley — charged Monday as the recently married Tina Stone — show her wedding to Hutaree ringleader David B. Stone. The wedding party, including a small child, can be seen carrying assault rifles during the event.” TPM has also reported on this in their article “For Hutaree, Militia Ethos Extended To Family Life.”
TPM reports that in “recent wedding pictures posted on Facebook, several Hutaree members who are now in custody are shown posing in front of the militia flag with assault rifles.”
“The pictures were posted on the page of Tina Kelley, which appears to be the maiden name of Tina Stone. Stone is the wife of David Brian Stone, described in the federal indictment as the leader of Hutaree. The couple and two of David Stone’s sons are among the nine Hutaree members charged with seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, and other crimes. The pictures were uploaded last December, at around the same time Kelley updated her relationship status to ‘married.’ Her primary Facebook picture is the patch of the ‘Colonial Christian Republic,’ also featured on the Hutaree Web site. She is friends with several Stones and friends with “Hutaree Christian Militia.” In one group shot, she is shown with several men in fatigues — including a man who appears to be David Stone — along with a woman in formal wear, all wielding assault rifles. Behind them is the flag of Hutaree and a Gadsden flag, a classic symbol of the movement.”
Other Facebook images show Tina Stone and David Stone with weapons, and Tina Stone posing with a small child given an assault rifle to hold.
The Voice of the Martyrs Speaks Out on Christian Love
One of the few Christian organizations to publicly reject the Hutaree is the Oklahoma-based Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) charity organization, which was listed as a “link” on the Hutaree web site. The Voice of the Martyrs provided an interview to Charisma magazine and also issued a public statement to Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.). The VOM provides information about oppressed Christians suffering around the world for religious freedom.
The VOM stated that “in light of recent arrests in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, VOM has found itself the subject of media inquiry. While we understand that all are innocent until proven guilty and wait for results of the legal process, we want to clearly state that violence is not an acceptable response to religious differences. Our Christian brothers and sisters who have suffered persecution in Jos and other places do not advocate a violent response; they are not calling us to take up arms or to provide them with weapons. Instead they offer love and forgiveness to those who attack them, in the hopes of representing Christ’s love and living out the gospel message.”
“The Voice of the Martyrs exists to provide practical and spiritual support to persecuted Christians in restricted nations, while inviting Christians in the free world into fellowship with them. One of the ways we invite Christians in the free world into that fellowship is through our web site, www.persecution.com. VOM web policy allows any person or group to place a link to persecution.com on their web site if they would like to inform others about the persecution of Christians. Such a link does not imply that VOM has any direct contact or partnership with the owners of the site. VOM policy is that the ministry does not link to outside ministries or organizations on persecution.com; we do not ‘trade links.'”
“To the best of our knowledge, no VOM personnel were aware of Hutaree’s existence or the fact that it had a link to VOM on its web site. VOM has not had any direct contact or partnership with the organization.”
Others may also choose to point to the following passages in the Christian Bible: John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Luke 6:27-28: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) urges all those who promote hate and supremacism, of any kind, religious or racial, to reject ideologies of hate and intolerance. We support our unqualified, universal human rights for all. We urge hate group supporters to drop the burden of the hate of supremacism from their hearts, and to rejoin the family of humanity in support of our universal human rights.
Choose love, not hate. Love Wins.
Detroit Free Press: Hutaree Militia Coverage
Detroit Free Press: The allegations
Detroit Free Press: Fed raids in Michigan may be tied to Hutaree, a Christian-militia group
Detroit Free Press: Site offers peek into Hutaree Christian militia
Detroit Free Press: Facebook an open window to Hutaree militia
TPM: For Hutaree, Militia Ethos Extended To Family Life
TPM: Christian Militia Group Burns U.N. Flag In YouTube Clip
Detroit News: Nine in radical militia group charged in police-killing plot
Detroit News: Hutaree leader asked friends for place to hide
Detroit News: Raid on Hutaree puzzles Adrian
Detroit News: Ninth militia member due in court today
CNN: Group arrested not Christian or militia, insider says
ABC: Family Defends Christian Militia Group, Says Hutaree Did Nothing Wrong
AP: Feds: Christian militia needed to be ‘taken down’
AFP: 9 Christian militia members charged in plot
WSJ: Militia Chief’s Mistrust Festered, Friends Say
— WSJ reports: “An undercover agent played a role in the investigation that led to Monday’s indictments.”
Hutaree Web Site – Screen Shot of “Doctrine of the Hutaree”
Hutaree Web Site – Screen Shot of “About Us” — defines Hutaree as “Christian warrior,” claims “Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword”
April 4, 2010
Militia had ‘dark hearts and evil intent,’ prosecutor says
— AP: “The Elitists’ foot soldiers were law-enforcement officers he called the ‘Brotherhood,’ and Stone ordered that bombs be built to slaughter thousands of them”
— The 9 defendants and their alleged roles
— Suspect’s behavior raised red flags in Ohio town
— A glossary of Hutaree terminology
April 1, 2010
Prosecutors say Hutaree militia plotted to take over Washtenaw, 2 other counties
— Ann Arbor news reports: “As part of their plan to overthrow the U.S. government, members of the Hutaree militia group wanted to take over three Michigan counties
– including Washtenaw – and force federal authorities to wage war there, prosecutors alleged in court Wednesday afternoon.”
— Prosecutors “also played a recording of group leader David Brian Stone Sr. of Clayton addressing other Hutaree members on a trip on Feb. 6.”
— ” ‘Now is the time to strike and take back our nation. The government should fear the people. They forget they live in our neighborhoods. We are everywhere.’ ”
— Eight U.S. militia members enter not guilty pleas
— FBI sees little chance of copycat militia plots
— Radical Christian militia due back in court
March 31, 2010
Several of the Hutaree Militia Members Entered Not Guilty Pleas
— Prosecutor: Agent infiltrated Christian militia
— Prosecutor: 46 guns in militia suspect’s Indiana home
— Hutaree militia member charged weeks after getting hitched
— For Hutaree, Web rumor stoked anger at Obama
— Militias on the rise
— Hutaree: Why is the Midwest a hotbed of militia activity?