Throughout U.S. history, more than 1,600 law enforcement officers have been intentionally ambushed and killed by cold-blooded assassins, according to research records kept by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Like the fatal shootings last November of four officers from Lakewood, WA, almost all of these ambush killings have involved a single killer targeting a single officer or small group of officers.
Now, however, comes stark evidence of a far more sinister and potentially far-reaching threat to America’s law enforcement community. Nine members of an anti-government extremist group known as Hutaree have been indicted in federal court in Michigan for plotting to kill individual police officers, then, as officers gathered at the funerals, to use homemade bombs and other methods to kill even more officers. After staging these attacks, the group allegedly planned to retreat to ''rally points'' to wage war against the U.S. government, defending its positions with trip-wired and command-detonated IEDs (improved explosive devices). According to the indictment, Hutaree members view local, state and federal law enforcement as the “brotherhood,” their enemy, and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict.
The mass ambush plot was planned for was early as April 2010, but thanks to the work of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, it never had a chance to materialize. Instead, nine of the Hutaree’s members—including leader, David Brian Stone, also known as ''Captain Hutaree”—are behind bars facing federal charges including seditious conspiracy, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, teaching the use of explosives and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. Eight of the suspects were arrested over the weekend in FBI raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” said Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States,” he said.
Added United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, “Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time."
Both officials praised the federal, state and local law enforcement partners who are members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Michigan State Police.
Read the full indictment here
Read the FBI news release here