The Southern Poverty Law Center warns that US antigovernment militias are gaining traction.
Right-wing militia groups are on the rise in the United States after nearly a decade of obscurity, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and extremist activity.
The report, released Wednesday, warns of "unmistakable signs of a revival of what in the 1990s was commonly called the militia movement."
Militia rhetoric is being heard widely once more, often from a second generation of ideologues, and conspiracy theories are being energetically revived or invented anew. "Paper terrorism" — the use of property liens, bogus legal documents and "citizens' grand juries" to attack enemies and, sometimes, reap illegal fortunes — is again proliferating, to the point where the government has set up special efforts to rein in so-called "tax defiers" and to track threats against judges....
Militia training events, huge numbers of which are now viewable on YouTube videos, are spreading. One federal agency estimates that 50 new militia training groups have sprung up in less than two years. Sales of guns and ammunition have skyrocketed amid fears of new gun control laws, much as they did in the 1990s.