Midwest Militia Was Poised to Launch War on US: Feds
Detroit trial begins against members of Hutaree
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 14, 2012 2:15 AM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2012 4:31 AM CST
Hutaree suspects. Joshua John Clough (second from bottom right) is the only one who has made a deal with prosecutors, and may be called to testify.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshall)
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(Newser) – Michigan militants armed to the teeth were poised to launch a "war" on the government, a federal prosecutor argued yesterday in the start of a criminal case in Detroit against seven members of the Hutaree group. All are charged with plotting to kill a police officer in order to launch an attack on cops attending the funeral, and spark an uprising. "This war will come whether we're ready or not. Now's the time to strike and take the nation back," said one of the defendants in a videotape played for the jury. Assistant US Attorney Christopher Graveline displayed an arsenal of 20 machine guns and short-barreled rifles along with 148,000 rounds of ammo he said were seized from group members, reports the Detroit News.

But defense attorneys argued that the six men and lone woman were more fantasists than fanatics, and leader David Stone was merely "exercising his God-given right to blow off steam" when he discussed violence. The Hutaree organization billed itself as a Christian militia preparing to battle the forces of the Antichrist. "Calling this group a militia is pushing it," said defense attorney Todd Shanker. "It's really a social club."