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  • hoozdik_hertz_567 hoozdik_hertz_567 Mar 6, 2013 12:45 PM Flag

    Radical Right On The Rise

     

    By Alex Seitz-Wald

    While the more mainstream anti-government Tea Party movement faded from view as the GOP co-opted it in the past few years, the action has moved to the fringes, where the number of radical right-wing Patriot groups reached an all time high in 2012, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. What’s more, it’s the fourth year in a row that the record has been broken.

    Conspiracy-minded Patriot groups first entered the public consciousness in the 1990s with the rise of the milita movement, and then the Oklahoma City Bombing. Now, the SPLC is warning government officials that they see eerie similarities between the current era and that leading up to the bombing.

    “As in the period before the Oklahoma City bombing, we now are seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns,” the group’s president, Richard Cohen, wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

    The number of Patriot groups peaked after the bombing in 1996 at 858, before falling off steeply and remaining low under George W. Bush. However, since the election of Barack Obama, the number of groups tracked by the SPLC has skyrocketed and continued to climb.

    Last year, the SPLC found 1,360 Patriot groups in the country — up more than 500 over the ’96 peak — including 321 militia groups.

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