FBI raids nab local militia in NW Ohio, SE Mich.
Mon, 29 Mar 2010 00:08:26 GMT —
Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted raids involving a militia group in the area over the weekend.
Witnesses reported seeing a few helicopters in the sky and seeing multiple checkpoints set up around Clayton, Michigan just south of Adrian. FBI agents were also spotted around the Toledo-area, according to NBC 24 viewers.
Authorities say at least three people have been arrested, including two in Sandusky and Huron. Raids were also conducted in Lenawee and Washtenaw counties in Michigan.
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 SMVM member declined to help and is cooperating with the FBI. He says this group is called the "Hatari Militia" and not related to the Southeast Michigan Militia or the Lenawee County Militia.
Lackomar says, "I know that they are a religiously structured organization, primarily based around the prophesies of end times according to the Bible. They believe that the world's about to end and they have to prepare to fight along side Jesus Christ."
He says, he was told the leader of this group, known as Raddock and several other members were taken into custody and others were on the run seeking asslyum with other militia groups in the area.
"We heard rumors that they had threatened muslim organizations, things like that, that brought on the fury of the federal government down upon them. We are also hearing rumors as of late, that pipe bombs, that they are building and distributing and that would surprise me if that were true."
Federal warrants are sealed, but FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said Sunday there has been "law enforcement activity" in southwest Michigan. She wouldn't say whether they were tied to the raids in the other states.
A third arrest was made in Illinois on Sunday, a day after raids in Indiana.
Agents have declined to specify what they are searching for. Federal agents will only say they are serving a number of search warrants and the warrants are sealed. More information will become available Monday when the warrants are unsealed and suspects may appear in court.