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NW Indiana Man Faces Conspiracy Charges in Militia Plot

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NW Indiana Man Faces Conspiracy Charges in Militia Plot

Photo by Madalyn Ruggiero (AP)

A northwest Indiana man alleged to be part of a fringe militia group was indicted on federal conspiracy charges Monday. The FBI arrested him in a western suburb Sunday after unveiling an alleged plot to kill law enforcement officers.

Thomas Piatek, 46, was arrested at a Clarendon Hills apartment complex early Sunday morning, according to local police.

The indictment alleges he and eight others planned to kill a law enforcement officer, then ambush the officer’s funeral procession with roadside bombs.
The group sought out plans to build improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, on the internet, and began to gather materials to make them, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors say Piatek is part of a Christian militia group called Hutaree, based in Lenawee County, in southeast Michigan.

The group’s Web site features videos, set to rock music, of armed men conducting training exercises.

A statement on the Web site says the group is preparing for the coming of the Anti-Christ.

“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equiment,” the statement reads.

Prosecutors say the militants were hoping their plot would lead to an all-out war with the government.

The FBI rounded up the suspects in a series of weekend raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Agents initially tried to arrest Piatek during a raid at his home in Hammond, Ind., early Sunday morning before he was found in Clarendon Hills.

Reached by telephone at his home in Hammond Monday afternoon, a man identifying himself as Piatek’s brother, Steven Piatek, said he did not believe the charges were true.

“It’s not going to leave me in too good of a shape,” he said of the FBI’s raid on his home.

The eight who are in custody face several conspiracy and weapons charges. One man, Joshua Matthew Ston, 21, of Clayton, Mich., remains at large.

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