Report: militia activity on the rise in US
The Southern Poverty Law Center warns that US antigovernment militias are gaining traction.
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Fox News writes that conservative groups are dismissing the report, which they say relies on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report released earlier this year on right-wing extremism. They say that the DHS report relies on unofficial reports and unfairly lumps together legitimate critics of the Obama administration with radical militias, and as a result the new SPLC report is suspect for the same reasons.
They are attempting to brand all right-of-center protesters as potential domestic terrorists or extremists," [William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC,] said. "They are painting whole swaths of people as hate groups and extremists."
As for the purported rise in "militia" groups, which SPLC includes as part of the broader anti-government "Patriot" movement, Gheen said: "We're just not seeing it."
Consider the letter SPLC officials wrote to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno 15 years ago warning about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the "mixture of armed groups and those who hate'' was "a recipe for disaster.''
Six months later, the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed.
Yes, we've got to take note of the return of these right-wing militia groups, but more importantly, government and law enforcement officials need to make sure they're kept in check.