Hutaree Militia Fact Sheet
The Hutaree Militia
The indictment of nine members of a small Michigan militia on conspiracy, weapons and other charges once again has shined a spotlight on the shadowy world of anti-government militia groups.
According to the indictment, the arrests stem from a militia plot to commit a violent act against a law enforcement officer in order to set off a broader confrontation between the government and militia groups. The plot was spearheaded by a small Christian militia group calling itself the "Hutaree Militia" and based in southwestern Michigan and northwestern Ohio.
The Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism has compiled the following fact sheet on the group and its leaders:
Formed: Late Winter/Spring 2008
Leader: David Brian Stone
Size: Approximately 20 members
Organization: Paramilitary structure, including ranks, with sub-units led by sons of David Stone.
Location: Most members are based in Southeastern Michigan (a traditional hub of militia activity), but some members and associates are from northwestern Ohio, as well as Indiana. In late 2008, a Texas unit formed and organized training exercises in Teague, Texas.
Ideology: A combination of the "standard" militia ideology centered around a desire to defend against the "New World Order," believed to be a massive conspiracy to establish a totalitarian one-world government, and a religious ideology that focuses on prophetic Christian notions of the "end times," the Anti-Christ, and the second coming of Christ.
Activities: Primarily paramilitary training. However, in early 2010, a Bridgewater Township supervisor, Jolea Mull, twice reached out to local anti-government militia members to help find missing people. At least three Hutaree members took part in these efforts.
Hutaree Members Indicted: David Brian Stone, David Brian Stone, Jr., Joshua Matthew Sonte, Tina Mae Stone, Joshua John Clough, Michael David Meeks, Thomas William Piatek, Kristopher T. Sickles, Jacob J. Ward.
Charges: A federal grand jury charged all nine Hutaree Militia members arrested with seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction (in this case, primarily improvised explosive devices), and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. David Brian Stone and David Brian Stone, Jr., were also charged with teaching/demonstrating the use of explosive materials. These two, as well as Joshua Stone, Joshua Claugh, Michael Meeks, Kristopher Sickles, and Jacob Ward were all charged with a second count of the same violation.
Seditious conspiracy is a serious charge, rarely invoked, involving two or more persons conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the government of the United States; or to levy war against the U.S. or oppose by force to prevent the execution of U.S. law or seize property of the U.S.
Nature of the Alleged Plot: According to the federal indictment against the nine Hutaree Militia members, the accused plotted to commit some sort of violent act against law enforcement, such as ambushing and killing an officer during a traffic stop, or killing an officer and his or her family at home. These acts would ostensibly intimidate and demoralize law enforcement. The indictment alleges that after such an action, Hutaree members would retreat to prepared "rally points," where they would wage war against the government and defend themselves with improvised explosive devices. Such a confrontation, the indictment claims, would, in the minds of Hutaree members, serve as a "catalyst" for a widespread uprising against the government.
The Militia Movement in 2010: A Snapshot
Size: The militia movement has roughly 3,000-6,000 members nationwide, with a significant additional number of adherents who self-identify as part of the movement without belonging into any specific group. The number of militia groups has increased sharply since 2008, from around 50 in early 2008 to nearly 200 today.
Organization: The militia movement primarily consists of a collection of paramilitary groups, most of them small (in the range of 10-30 members). Militia umbrella groups have traditionally failed, but the movement nevertheless is well-networked, and members from different groups meet together to share ideas and expertise. In the past two years, the movement has made a concerted effort to use the new social media of the Internet in order to recruit; one result has been the influx of a number of younger people into the movement (the original militia movement was primarily a middle-aged movement).
Reason for Growth: The primary reason for the rapid resurgence of the militia movement was the election of Barack Obama as president. His election re-ignited a number of longstanding anti-government conspiracy theories about gun confiscation, FEMA concentration camps, and martial law, all to enslave Americans as part of the New World Order. Conspiracy theories rather than race was the dominant factor. The resurgence of the militia movement was part of an overall growth of anti-government animosity in the United States over the past 18 months.
Association with Criminal Activity: Since its inception in late 1993/early 1994, many members of the militia movement have been arrested on a variety of charges, most of them involving illegal weapons or explosives and/or conspiracies to use them. Militia members have also been involved in several murders, including murders of police officers. In the past four years, a number of militia members have been arrested for amassing large arsenals of illegal weapons. However, the Hutaree Militia indictments represent the first arrests of militia members for an alleged terrorist plot since the militia resurgence really began a year and a half ago.
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