REPORT: Sharp Increase in Anti-Government ‘Patriot Groups’
According to researchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, there has been a sharp increase in anti-government “patriot groups” opposed to the Obama Administration and gun control.
The numbers have surged from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 today.
It is believed that the election and relection of the first black president, as well as the economic downturn, have spurred the rising numbers.
“The anger, angst, frustration, fear surrounding the economy have very much poured fuel on this fire,” Potok said.
On gun control, the debate following the Newtown, Connecticut, mass murder of 20 schoolchildren and six educators has led to “a kind of white-hot rage unleashed on both the radical right and also within more mainstream political circles,” he said.
The report states: “Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order,’ engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines.”
The FBI defines militant extremists as anti-government groups often organized into paramilitary groups that follow a military-style rank hierarchy and typically engage in wilderness, survival, or other paramilitary training, according to a September 2011 FBI report on domestic terrorism.
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