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Patriot Movement: Past, Present, and Future (From The Future of Terrorism: Violence in the New Millennium, 97-131, 1998, Harvey W. Kushner, ed., -- see NCJ-191292)

NCJ Number
Brian Levin
Date Published
35 pages
This chapter focuses on the past, present, and future of the Patriot Movement, an American antigovernment group.
The Patriot Movement, unnoticed before the bombing of a Federal building in Oklahoma City, represents the greatest threat of domestic terrorism. The Patriot antigovernment movement represents a newly formed broad coalition of previously autonomous and loosely related social and political ideologies. The ideologies range from nonviolent fundamentalists and libertarians to a small but influential number of white supremacists and Constitutionalists. It is not the component ideological parts that are new, but the relationship to one another. This country’s history of renegade antigovernment paramilitary organizations extends back to the postrevolutionary period. The Nullification Doctrine, incorrectly contending that States can void repugnant Federal laws within their jurisdiction, is embraced in altered form by modern-day Patriots. Patriots and Constitutionalists believe this “right” or nullification extends beyond the States to individual “sovereign” citizens as well. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is the Nation’s largest and most enduring terrorist group. Outrage over KKK atrocities led to the passage of the Federal KKK Acts, laws that are still used today to punish violent deprivations of civil rights. The Silver Shirts, another influential extremist organization, played a crucial role in fomenting conspiracy theories and bigotry as a mainstay of far right paramilitary extremism. The Patriot Movement suffered a temporary membership setback after the Oklahoma City bombing. But violence by a fringe group of Patriot extremists will continue. Although most cases will involve the traditional mainstays of gun and bombs, a smaller number will involve an array of dangerous mass weapons. 5 figures, 4 notes