DETROIT, March 31 (UPI) -- A member of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia says the group accused of plotting to kill police was not Christian or a militia.
"They're really a fringe group outside of anything we do," Michael Lamar told CNN. "They're more of a private army or a terrorist organization or really just a criminal organization."
He said Hutaree -- the group's Web site says it means "Christian warrior" -- had sought refuge over the weekend with a Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia leader as federal authorities searched for nine members.
Eight of the suspects were arrested over the weekend, a ninth Monday night. They were charged with conspiring to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer, then kill other officers in an elaborate plot that included making improvised explosive devices to attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession.
Lamar said his militia had urged the group members to turn themselves in.
On its Web site, Hutaree said it is "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive."
A federal grand jury in Detroit indicted six Michigan residents, two Ohioans and an Indiana resident on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.
The indictment describes Hutaree as an "anti-government extremist organization" whose members see law enforcement authorities as the enemy.