Bad Economy, Obama Fuel Rise in Militias: Report
Fears of a return to anti-government violence of the 1990s
A vandalized sign outside the office of Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., is shown Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 in Smyrna, Ga. Scott had a contentious community meeting on health care last week. Scott, who is black, said the swastika is the latest example of what he believes is an increasingly hateful and racist debate over reforming health care. The Atlanta lawmaker said he also has received mail in recent days that used N-word references to him, and that characterized President Barack Obama as a Marxist.
Updated at 12:15 AM PST on Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009
The election of America's first black president, fears of a secret Mexican plot to take over the Southwest and a painful recession have combined to fuel a rise in violent right-wing militias, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The leading civil rights group is not the only one worried that the country could be on the verge of another domestic terror attack by a lone wolf hatemonger or radical militia member.
ATF agent Bart McEntire tells The Associated Press that militia growth is the highest its been in a decade, with the American Midwest, Pacific Northwest and Deep South, in particular, a tinderbox of right-wing hatred awaiting a spark.
Last year, the Department of Homeland Security was roundly criticized for warning white supremacists and militia members could try to recruit military veterans to their violent cause.
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Published at 11:59 PM PST on Aug 11, 2009