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Cycles of right-wing terror in the US

NCJ Number
Pete Simi
Date Published
17 pages

This article explores the global growth of violent fundamentalism and right-wing extremism.


Violent fundamentalist insurgency is growing worldwide (Almond et al. 2003; Barber 1995; Brouwer et al. 1996) and right-wing extremists are part of this global phenomenon. Russia, in particular, has experienced a rapid growth of neo-Nazis since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, Russia had fewer than 100 neo-Nazi skinheads, but by 2005, more than 50,000 roamed Russia’s streets (Liss 2010; Osborn 2005). Since reunification, Germany has also witnessed a troubling increase in right-wing extremism. A recent study found that one in 20 West German and one in eight former East German males 15-year old’s claimed membership in a neo-Nazi faction (Pfeiffer 2009). In the US, the resurgence of right-wing extremist groups has been equally dramatic. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that hate groups are currently at record levels, with almost 1,000 arrayed across the US: Anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, so-called ‘Patriot’ groups-militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose ‘one-world government’ on liberty-loving Americans-came roaring back after years out of the limelight. (Publisher abstract provided)