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Militia Leader Indicted on Weapons Charges in Alabama

A U.S. District Court in Alabama has indicted William J. Hudson, 56, of Birmingham, on five weapons charges.  Hudson is the self-proclaimed leader of the anti-government Alabama Free Militia, which was raided by federal authorities in April.  Hudson was indicted on July 31, 2007, for conspiring to make and possess an improvised explosive projectile, aiding and abetting others in making improvised explosive projectiles, conspiring with others to make, transfer and possess a machine gun, and two counts of failure to register a firearm. 

Federal authorities arrested Hudson on June 28, 2007, after a search of his home yielded two silencers, two unregistered machine guns, two altered rifles capable of being equipped with silencers, and materials used to make grenades.  Hudson faces up to 35 years in prison, and/or fines up to $1 million.

The April raid on the Alabama Free Militia resulted in the largest extremist-related weapons seizure to occur in the South in years.  Six members were arrested on federal charges of conspiring to make hand grenades, and possessing various weapons or explosives.  Five of the six pleaded guilty to the weapons charges in June, but denied any militia involvement. 

The numerous raids were executed simultaneously by over 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers, including 12 bomb squads.  Agents confiscated 130 grenades, a grenade launcher, approximately 70 hand grenades rigged to be fired from a rifle, a machine gun, a short-barrel shotgun, explosives parts, two silencers, numerous other firearms, commercial fireworks and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. 

During the May 1 bond hearing, a federal ATF agent testified that five of the militia men were planning an attack on Mexicans in a town near Birmingham.  The agent further claimed that the group has an alleged policy to shoot at any government agents that attempt to approach them.  

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