March 28, 2010

The FBI yesterday raided a home said to be inhabited by members of the Michigan Militia in Washenaw County, near Ann Arbor, MI, and at several other area locations.

ADRIAN, Mich. -- The FBI confirmed to Local 4 that there were several law enforcement activities in the Lenawee/Washtenaw County area late Saturday night.

"The federal warrants are sealed and we can not comment at this time," said Sandra Berchtold, media/applicant coordinator for the FBI in Detroit.

Local 4 crews could see FBI helicopters flying over the area.

Michigan State Police said the raids are not terror related, but would not comment further.

Police said one person driving up from Toledo, Ohio was arrested and then taken in for questioning. Police also said they were looking for at least one person.

Although we don't know if it's related, the raid appears to have been coordinated with similar raids yesterday in Hammond, Indiana and Sandusky, Ohio.

FBI spokesmen said no information would be released until court documents were unsealed Monday.


The FBI conducted raids Saturday night in the Washtenaw and Lenawee county area in an investigation tied to Hutaree, a Christian-oriented militia group based in Lenawee County, has learned.

[...] Michigan militia members say five people were arrested - including one known member of Hutaree. They said the raid occurred at a meeting of Hutaree members in the Ann Arbor area.

I found this reported chat with a Hutaree leader on an online message board dated today:

[04:13] mark_Koernke_ I just left a shouting match about 20 minutes ago with a little over a hundred militiamen who are on the move right now. The arguement was over not if but rather where to hit them. Trying to calm them down was useless and they are not going to let this lie. They will identify the straglers or pickets first and wipe them out. By what the radiio crew said the recon teams have all of the hiddy holes

[04:14] mark_Koernke_ …IDed for those they moved in and the group is infiltrating to site as we speak. I hope the locals are smart enough to step out of the way.

[04:16] mark_Koernke_ this is interesting for we may have live vids from the epicanter as it developes.

[04:16] mark_Koernke_ …epicenter…

[04:34] mark_Koernke_ sorry about that , just got off one of our back up phones with another militia unit commander. His first comment was “Well Mark, I guess that we aren’t going to chirch this morning.”

[04:35] mark_Koernke_ He then told me that as he was packing up his LBE and weapons into the armored truck he has that he asked his wife to bring the congregation together to say a prayer for the militia that may be going to war this sunday.”

[04:37] mark_Koernke_ His wife was crying in the background(I could hear her) and he said he had kissed his children good by and was now going out the door. He is a two war vet and young. He has killed many times before and she knows his moods

From what I've picked up from various sites, other militias consider the Hutaree a bunch of immature amateurs who seemed to be trying to provoke a showdown with ATF agents. If so, it's good that no one was hurt.


Dave N.: FWIW, Koernke was one of the leading figures of the militia movement in the 1990s, and was well known for inflammatory and paranoid rhetoric.

Early reports are that these arrests involve people who were manufacturing and selling pipe bombs -- which is something of a constant refrain among Patriot movement people. Pipe-bomb busts brought down a number of militia groups in the '90s, most notably the Washington State Militia.

But of course, what we'll hear from the militiamen is that this is just the first step in liberals' evil plot to round up conservatives and put them in concentration camps. And it sounds like at least a few of them are getting itchy trigger fingers. If you're in law enforcement in Michigan, take extra care this week.

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