[Guest post by DRJ]
The FBI says 9 members of a self-described Michigan Christian militia who were planning to “levy war” on the United States have been arrested on terrorism-related charges:
“Nine members of a Lenawee County-based militia group were planning to “levy war” against the United States and “oppose by force” the nation’s government, according to an indictment unsealed this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Seven of the defendants of the “Hutaree” militia appeared briefly this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit and were ordered held without bond until Wednesday, when bond hearings will be held. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said he wants all the defendants held pending trial.
The five-count indictment alleges that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants were trying to use bombs and other weapons to oppose the U.S. government.
They had plans to kill a local law enforcement official and, once officers from across the country came to the funeral, to attack the funeral procession, the indictment alleges.”
Eight men and one woman were arrested. They may have planned to fight a holy war:
“The Adrian-based group has said it is training in modern combat techniques for a prophesized battle with the anti-Christ.”
Ann Althouse notes the indictment accuses them of planning to use IEDs considered to be “weapons of mass destruction.” Althouse says that “blows a big hole in the notion that there weren’t weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
One of the men is Thomas Piatek, a Chicago-area resident and truck driver who claims he was falsely accused:
“At a hearing Monday at the Hammond federal courthouse, Piatek denied wrongdoing and insisted he was not the same Thomas Piatek named in the indictment. “I’m not that guy,” he said, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ordered a special hearing Wednesday to establish Piatek’s identity.
Piatek told the court that he had been “raped” by property taxes on his residence, leaving him with only a few thousand dollars in savings. Tax records in Lake County, Ind., show Piatek paid $3,400 last year on time.
Piatek still lives in his childhood home, neighbors said. His mother once ran a flower shop from the Calumet Avenue house, while his father worked at one of the local steel mills. And his grandfather was once mayor of south suburban Calumet City, acquaintances said.
With both his parents dead, Piatek looked after his brother, Steve, and their two German shepherds. Neighbors said they occasionally saw him heading to a nearby pizza place or walking to the grocery a block away, but he rarely socialized.”
According to the last link, the militia’s activities were “hardly a secret” because it maintained a website with “videos of its men slogging through the woods and playing war games in their military attire.”