Politics

In Wake of Hutaree Militia Arrests, Illinois Group Calls for Assault Weapons Ban

| by ICHV

CHICAGOAn FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested seven men and one woman -- another suspect is still being sought -- in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana as “part of an investigation into an Adrian-based unit of the Hutaree, a group that professes it is training in modern armed combat techniques for a prophesized coming battle with the Antichrist,” according to the Associated Press.

The federal court indictment states, “The HUTAREE's enemies include state and local law enforcement, which are deemed 'foot soldiers' of the Federal government, Federal law enforcement agencies and employees, participants in the 'New World Order,' and anyone who does not share in the HUTAREE's beliefs. Since at least 2008, the HUTAREE has been meeting regularly to conduct military-style training in Lenawee County....The purpose of this training has been to plan and prepare for the impending war with the HUTAREE's enemies.”

The militia's grisly plans are noted on page 4 of the federal court indictment: “The general concept of operations provided that the HUTAREE would commit some violent act to draw the attention of law enforcement or government officials and which would prompt a response by law enforcement. Possible such acts which were discussed including killing a member of law enforcement after a traffic stop, killing a member of law enforcement and his or her family at home, ambushing a member of law enforcement in rural communities, luring a member of law enforcement with a false 911 emergency call and then killing him or her, and killing a member of law enforcement and then attacking the funeral procession motorcade with weapons of mass destruction. These acts would intimidate and demoralize law enforcement diminishing their ranks and rendering them ineffective.”

In response, Thom Mannard, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), issued the following statement:

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“It is disturbing to read today that a Christian cult and militia sought to arm themselves with deadly weapons and to train its members to kill other people, including law enforcement officials, based on a sick and twisted interpretation of the Christian faith. This FBI raid is yet more proof that hate groups, cults and militias in our nation can easily arm themselves with some of the most deadly weapons available, such as military-style assault weapons, powerful handguns and other dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

“Congress and the Obama administration must act to address the terrorism threat enabled by America's weak gun laws. America's safety and security continues to be at grave risk until we ban the sale of all military-style assault weapons, such as AK-47s and .50 caliber sniper rifles, and require criminal background checks on every firearm sold. Ultimately, comprehensive federal legislation must be enacted to address this danger and improve homeland security.

“Illinois state lawmakers do not have to wait for Congress to act to limit the access and threat of deadly assault weapons. Pending legislation SB 3036 sponsored by Senator Antonio Munoz, and HB 5751 sponsored by Representative Edward Acevedo should be acted on immediately.

"ICHV believes it is imperative to protect our communities from the proliferation of these deadly weapons into our communities. The easy access to military-style assault weapons undermines our public safety and our personal security. This FBI raid against a well-armed militia should act as a wake-up to lawmakers to take action to prevent a potential domestic terrorist attack.

“Finally, we urge all members of the faith community to speak out more fervently against any group that uses religion to justify acts of violence.”