Arrests Made in Christian Militia Police-Killing Plot

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Members of a paramilitary group have been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and wage war against the United States -- and they use God as their reasoning.

The group is active in three Midwest states. The FBI believes some of its members were about to launch a massacre.

They call themselves the Hutaree. Video on the group's Web site shows a group of Americans out in the heartland, heavily armed and training for combat, all to a heavy metal beat.

CBN News spoke with terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross about the Hutaree and other radical "militia" groups sparking up across the U.S.  Click play for his comments.

After a series of raids over the weekend, federal authorities said Monday Hutaree members were conspiring, among other plots, to kill a law enforcement officer in April and then kill other officers at his funeral, ambushing them with homemade explosives.

"Obviously someone has a source or a wiretap or intel coming to them in some form or fashion to trigger, 'Alright, we are not going to let these guys take one step further in this operation. We are going to take them down,'" explained Brad Garrett, former FBI agent.

Nine members have been indicted. After raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, eight were arrested and charged with conspiring to levy war against the United States.

After their planned funeral massacre, group members allegedly plotted to retreat to rally points, then use IEDs and other weapons in a violent stand-off with law enforcement. They believed that would set off a large uprising across the country.

Neighbors around a Hutaree home in Michigan heard all sorts of rumors about them.

"(People said) they're the K.K.K. They're making bombs (and) have a whole bunch of drugs, guns," Michigan resident Christina Lamb said.

The Hutaree Web site is filled with Scripture and states, "We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded."

Other statements on the site include, "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword," "Christ is our king of kings and top general of all things," and "The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it."

Michael Lackomar is a Michigan militia member who trained with the Hutaree.

"They believe that this is the end of the world as prophesized by the Bible and it is their duty to take up arms to fight alongside Jesus against the impending forces of Satan," he said.

But Lackomar doesn't accept the Hutaree as a real militia, saying they're more like a cult, prepared to be on their own rather than help their community in times of emergency.

The growth of such radical paramilitary groups appears to be on the rise.

One watchdog organization says their numbers have tripled in just the last year.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.