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Alleged militia leader rants on secretly recorded tape

From Susan Candiotti, CNN
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'War against new world order'
  • Tape recorded last winter when Hutaree members were driving to Kentucky
  • Stone urges "war against this evil, greedy new world order"
  • Defense attorneys dismissed the tape as just talk

(CNN) -- In a secretly recorded audiotape, the alleged ringleader of an anti-government Michigan militia expresses anger over the "new world order" and the "brotherhood," of law enforcement officers.

"In this nation, we think we are free, but you need a certificate to be born, a license to drive, a permit to build, a number to get a job and even a paper after you die," says David Bryan Stone Sr., 45, the alleged head of the Hutaree militia, accused of conspiring to overthrow the government and plotting to kill police officers.

"These are permission slips from the terrorists organization called the new world order," Stone says in the tape, which was recorded clandestinely by an FBI agent who infiltrated the militia and obtained exclusively by CNN.

Government prosecutors played the recording during an April 2 bond hearing for alleged Hutaree members, arguing that the defendants would be a danger to the community and a flight risk if they were freed on bail before trial.

A federal magistrate in Detroit, Michigan, agreed and ordered eight militia suspects to be held in jail pending their trial.

Stone, his sons, Joshua, 21, and David Brian Stone Jr., 19; as well as the eldest Stone's wife, Tina Stone, 44, have been charged with seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Joshua John Clough, 28; Kristopher Sickles, 27; Michael David Meeks, 40; Jacob Ward, 33; and Thomas Piatek, 46, face the same charges. Piatek, of Whiting, Indiana, is being held in Indiana.

The eight ordered held in Michigan have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said the tape was recorded last winter when Hutaree members were driving to Kentucky for a meeting with other militias but were forced to turn back due to bad weather. Stone allegedly gave a speech inside the van.

"People in this nation as well as some around this world are waiting for those individuals like you see sitting in this room to actually make the decision to go to war against this evil, greedy new world order," Stone says on the tape.

"They need leaders who are not afraid to stand up and actually mean, 'No more.' We are free and we should not be afraid or ashamed to admit that we are the American militia. We outnumber them. As long as we let them terrorize any American through fear and intimidation, then they are winning this battle and we should step up to the fight that they have started and finish it."

Defense attorneys dismissed the tape as just talk -- words protected under freedom of speech.

But prosecutors have portrayed the Hutaree militia as a dark-hearted group with evil intent. They said Stone's plan was to create his own country carved out of four Michigan counties, then defend that country against attack by the "One World Order" army.

The group allegedly planned to incite that attack by making a false 911 complaint, shooting any police who responded, and then attacking attendees at the funerals of those officers with improvised explosive devices.

"Every day, we watch ever so close for those evil blue helmets to appear on our streets -- but as long as through Interpol, law enforcement mercenaries called the brotherhood working for the new world order are doing such a great job, then we don't need to watch for these foreign armies to come to our shores. They are already here," Stone says.

Conviction on the charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction would carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, while seditious conspiracy and teaching the use of explosive materials each would carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; the firearm charge would carry a mandatory minimum penalty of at least five years in prison, according to authorities.