Devlin Barrett at Huffington Post:
A U.S. official says some of the people arrested by the FBI in Midwest raids this weekend face gun charges.
FBI raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio have resulted in three arrests, and officials are pursuing other suspects.
The law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation. Federal warrants are sealed.
FBI spokesman Scott Wilson in Cleveland says agents arrested two people Saturday in Ohio and one in Illinois on Sunday.
Michael Lackomar, spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, says a member of his group was called by members of a religious militia Saturday who claimed their property was being raided. Lackomar says the member from his group declined to help and is cooperating with the FBI.
Emptywheel at Firedoglake:
Apparently, while I was sleeping, they turned my local sheriff’s department into a staging center for FBI raids against a Christian-focused militia group less then 40 miles away.
The FBI conducted raids Saturday night in Washtenaw County and Lenawee County in an investigation involving members of Hutaree, a Christian-oriented militia group based in Lenawee County, AnnArbor.com has learned.
The nature of those raids has not been made public. FBI Special Agent Jason Pack, who is based in Washington, D.C., said he did not know how many people were taken into custody. Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, could not be reached for comment today.
“I can confirm that there is ongoing law enforcement activity in the Ann Arbor general area,” Pack said in a written statement. “Since the federal warrants are under court ordered seal, legally we cannot provide further comment at this time.”
Local Michigan militia member Jimmy Schiel said he was told five people were arrested – including one known member of Hutaree. Schiel said the five were reportedly arrested during a raid at a service in the Ann Arbor area for a Hutaree member who died recently.
Apparently, this raid is connected with a raid in Indiana …
Hammond police assisted with an FBI raid Saturday evening in the Indiana city, but federal officials would not release any details.
Hammond officials did not know the circumstances surrounding the raid, which began about 7 p.m. and lasted two hours, said a police dispatcher.
And in Ohio…
A battalion of local officers and federal agents flooded the Bayshore Estates neighborhood Saturday afternoon.
A second raid was conducted in Huron. An FBI agent at the scene of the Bayshore Estates raid said a second, related raid was taking place at “another location.” Huron police confirmed late Saturday a raid had taken place in that city, but would say nothing more.
Likewise, FBI agents at the scene and at the Cleveland field office are staying mum on the cause of the commotion.
“We did make some arrests,” said special agent Scott Wilson of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
What was it we’ve been talking about, whether coordinated actions of white Americans could be terrorism or not?
THE TIMING APPEARS CONVENIENT: FBI stages domestic raids.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Lawprof Tom Smith senses a media spin campaign: “Just wait for the MSM to associate them with ‘tea baggers’ and anybody not wild about health care. It could be something else but it looks like a plausible rumor at this stage. I am not hopeful that any distinctions will be made by our opinion leaders between those who think the Illuminati and the Joooz are running the world and those who think we should not create a debt that is half the size of our GDP. I hope the FBI understands the difference.”
MORE: According to this report, it’s got nothing to do with the Michigan Militia: “The group Hutaree, which has absolutely no connection to the Michigan Militia at all, has gotten into some serious trouble. From what my source has told me, this group was actually making threats towards Islamic groups.” Well, stay tuned. As has been noted here before, early reports on stuff like this are often wrong.
Just three days ago, members of the group were assisting LE in a rescue search. Must be some really evil people there, what? Huntaree’s public forum is getting some buzz. Members were also discussing various perceived threats and threat levels in recent months here. Where is Janet Reno when we need her?
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo
Ravi Somaiya at Gawker:
It appears that members of the right-wing Hutaree Militia were arrested in raids in Michigan last night. Fox News reports that the seven is custody were selling pipe bombs. The FBI refused to comment. But you can enjoy some uncomfortable YouTube videos of disenfranchised white people running around with guns on the Hutaree MySpace page.
UPDATE: Justin Elliott at Talking Points Memo
UPDATE #2: Jared Keller at The Atlantic