As you may have seen in The New York Times today, we've just released a new study showing an alarming rise in the number of racist, neo-Nazi, and far-right extremist groups operating across our country.
This level of extremist activity has now surpassed what we documented in the 1990s, when Timothy McVeigh, a committed racist, bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, murdering 168 men, women and children.
Leading this surge are antigovernment "Patriot" groups, the armed militias and other organizations that like McVeigh see the federal government as their enemy.
Our investigation shows that these groups grew by more than 50 percent last year capping a 755 percent since President Obama has been in the White House. The president is a lightning rod for these extremists a "secret Muslim" or radical leftist bent on destroying America, in their view.
We've already seen a series of alleged terrorist plots and other violence associated with this extremism. Last year, for example, federal authorities arrested four members of the Georgia Militia which we also identify as a hate group for plotting to bomb federal buildings and spread poisonous ricin powder in various cities. Officials also have accused militia members in Michigan and Alaska of deadly plots against police officers.
Law enforcement officials and human rights activists across the country depend upon us to provide the latest information on the threat that these groups pose to our democracy.