Report: White supremacists more violent, but numbers not growing

ADL finds members of extremist demographic committed 83 percent of race-related murders in the US in last decade

Illustrative image of a neo-Nazi rally (CC BY-Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
Illustrative image of a neo-Nazi rally (CC BY-Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

NEW YORK — White supremacists have committed about 83 percent of extremist-related murders in the United States in the last decade, according to a new Anti-Defamation League report.

The report, released Monday, also found that most of those murders were perpetrated for non-ideological reasons. In addition, a slight majority of the shootouts between extremists of any kind and police involved white supremacists, the ADL report said. The other constituencies considered extremist in the report included right-wing anti-government extremists, domestic Islamic extremists, and left-wing extremists and anarchists.

“White supremacists are alive and well and they are operating both in groups and as lone wolves,” said ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman. “They engage in every type of ideological violence, from hate crimes to acts of terrorism, and represent one of the most serious extremist-related threats in the United States today.”

American white supremacist ideology is dominated by the fear that a growing non-white population controlled and manipulated by the Jews imperils the future of whites, according to the ADL. A 14-word slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” has become a rallying call, and many white supremacists have the number tattooed on their flesh.

Far more white supremacists are unaffiliated than those who belong to specific extremist groups. The Internet has allowed like-minded supremacists to network with each other without formally belonging to a group, and some of the violent acts carried out or planned by supremacists in recent years originated in online discussions, the report noted.

White supremacist violence in America has surged since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, but the number of white extremists has remained relatively flat, the report found.

Among white supremacists subgroups are neo-Nazis, skinheads, “traditional” white supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacist prison gangs and Christian Identity adherents.

Of those, only white supremacist prison gangs have been growing in numbers, according to the ADL. Organized neo-Nazi groups have experienced sharp declines since the 1990s.

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