In an indictment against the nine unsealed on Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an antigovernment uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.
The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq.
"This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society," Andrew Arena, the F.B.I. special agent in charge in Detroit, said in a statement. "The F.B.I. 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."
The Hutaree - a word Mr. Stone apparently made up to mean Christian warriors - saw the local police as "foot soldiers" for the federal government, which the group viewed as its enemy, along with other participants in what the group's members deemed to be a "New World Order" working on behalf of the Antichrist, the indictment said.
The Times made sure to lump this genuine threat with recent threats against Democratic lawmakers (not all of which have been substantiated but all of which have been circulated by the Democrats and the liberal media as fact):
A law enforcement official said the plot appeared to be unconnected to recent threats against Democratic lawmakers who voted for legislation overhauling the nation's health care system. According to the indictment, the group - apparently centered in Lenawee County, about 70 miles southwest of Detroit - has been meeting regularly since at least August 2008.
The Times hammered home the notion of "right-wing" attacks and cited a discredited report from the Department of Homeland Security which vaguely tarred anyone active in conservative causes like abortion or immigration as potential extremists. The Times also forwarded research from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which finds dangerous right-wingers everywhere it looks:
Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a liberal-leaning nonprofit group that tracks far-right networks, said the Hutaree's philosophy was drawn from a populist strand that fuses fear of a conspiracy to create a one-world government with a belief that a war is imminent between Christians and the Antichrist, as described in the Bible's Book of Revelation.
In April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security produced a report warning of a rising threat of right-wing terrorism, citing factors like economic troubles, the election of a black president and perceived threats to United States sovereignty.
Mark Potok, who leads a program that tracks right-wing groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said it first took note of the Hutaree last year amid a surge in new "Patriot" movement groups, race-based hate groups, extremist anti-immigrant groups, Christian militants and other variations.
"We're seeing all kinds of radical right-wing groups grow very rapidly, especially in the militia world," Mr. Potok said.