The number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right reached an all-time high in 2012, the fourth consecutive year of powerful growth by a movement that is becoming increasingly militant as President Obama enters his second term and Congress debates gun control measures, according to a report issued today by the SPLC.
In a letter today to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the SPLC warned of the potential for domestic terrorism and urged the creation of a new interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat...
...The SPLC found there were 1,360 Patriot groups in 2012 – an 813 percent rise since 2008, the year before Obama took office. The groups include 321 militias. These numbers far exceed the movement’s peak in the 1990s, when militias were inflamed by the 1993 Brady Bill and the 1994 assault rifle ban. The SPLC also found that hate groups remained at a near-record level of 1,007 groups in 2012, a slight drop from the 1,018 groups documented in 2011.
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