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Various Authors 11:01 a.m., April 23
A new report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claims that for the third consecutive year, extremists groups have experienced large growth.
According to report details, hate groups reached a new record in 2011, with 1,018 groups nationwide. The list of hate groups includes neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, Klansmen, black separatists, groups that target LGBT people, Muslims and immigrants, or specialize in producing racist music or propaganda denying the Holocaust.
California leads the way with 84 hate groups. Of those, the following are located in San Diego: American Third Position (White Nationalist), the Nation of Islam (Black Separatist), the National Socialist Movement (neo-Nazi), and the Jewish Defense League and As-Sabiqun (both General Hate groups); San Diego is also home to three racist skinhead groups: Crew 38, United Society of Aryan Skinheads, and the Western Hammerskins.
Groups within the county include, Poway’s Aryan Nations 88 (Neo-Nazi), Vista’s DefendStudents.org (General Hate) and Ramona’s United States Justice Foundation (Anti-Muslim).
The report identifies the biggest growth in the “Patriot” movement, which is composed of armed militias and other conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy. Growth in these groups increased by 55 percent, from 824 in 2010 to 1,274 groups last year. In September, the FBI issued a special bulletin to law enforcement officials, describing these groups as “domestic terrorist.”
California is home to 59 “Patriot” groups. Statewide groups include the Alarm & Muster: The Modern Day Alarm Riders and the Republic for the United States of America. We are Change is a group with 20 chapters, including one in San Diego, while Nullify Now! has six chapters, including one in Temecula. San Diego also has its own group – We the People.
According to the report, membership in Patriot groups is attractive during a tough economy because in general, these groups believe they are exempt from most laws and should not have to pay taxes.