While Ku Klux Klan has openly supported Donald Trump in the presidential election, its units in America have more than doubled in one year, increasing from 72 in 2014 to 190 in 2015. This has been revealed in a recent study conducted by Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which tracks extremist activities in the USA.
In an earlier study commissioned by the US Department of Justice and conducted in 2014, the Triangle Centre on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS) had found that right-wing anti-government violent extremism in America was a bigger threat than Islamic terrorism.
“Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face,” the TCTHS reported, based on its survey of 382 security agencies.
The disturbing rise of racist organizations in the USA, many of which are armed militias, is little known. Also mostly unknown is that on the opposite side of the spectrum, black separatist hate groups, too, have grown from 113 chapters in 2014 to 180 in 2015. Currently there are at least 276 militia groups in the U.S. – a 37 percent jump from 2014 – the SPLC has found.
Arie Perliger, director of terrorism studies at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, has observed that the three ideologies within the violent American far-right are racist, anti-federalist and fundamentalist. Each has subgroups.
The racists include white supremacy groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis and skinheads, which can differ in subtle ways. The anti-federalists include militias, self-defined “patriot” groups and what are known as ‘sovereign citizens,’ who hold that they are legally bound only by their personal interpretation of common law and are otherwise not subject to federal, state or local laws.
The fundamentalists are primarily Christian identity groups that believe the biblical war of good vs. evil is between descendants of Anglo-Saxon nations and all other ethnic groups.
According to data compiled by Charles Kurzman, one of the authors of the TCTHS report, an average of nine Muslim-Americans per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots in USA which resulted in 50 deaths, or an average of four fatalities per year.
In contrast, there were 337 incidents of right-wing violence each year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 deaths, according to a study by Professor Arie Perliger at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.