North American Militia

The Crime and Investigation

In 1996, members of the North American Militia (NAM) devised a plot to spark a nationwide militia uprising by killing government officials and attacking government and infrastructure targets in Michigan. Members planned to finance their activities by robbing narcotics traffickers or engaging in narcotics distribution.

An undercover ATF agent infiltrated the group and learned it was making homemade C-4 explosives, stockpiling PVC pipe bombs and had acquired .50-caliber machineguns with 20,000 rounds of belted ammunition. Theoretically, when the war began, NAM member cells would receive coded messages instructing them to attack a particular target.


Picture of Colt, CAR-15 Rifle used by extremist in this case

Image of Colt, CAR-15 Rifle used by extremist in this case

CAR-15 Rifle: Similar to those used by militia members.


Picture of Militia Patch

Image of Militia Patch

Militia Patch: Insignia worn by members.


Image of a white pvc pipe bomb similar to the devices contructed by militia members.

Image of Pipe Bomb

Pipe Bomb (Inert): Similar to the devices constructed by militia members.


The Arrest and Adjudication

In 1997, ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State Police executed federal search warrants on four NAM leaders, seizing numerous firearms, including machineguns, belted ammunition, a .50-caliber sniper rifle, bomb-making material and other incriminating evidence. Four defendants were later convicted for federal crimes involving firearms, possession of destructive devices, conspiracy and narcotics violations. Sentencing ranged from five years to 50 years imprisonment.

Image of arrest photos of four extremist members

Image of Arrest photos of Four Extremist Members


Last Reviewed September 22, 2016