Violence, Aggression and Terrorism Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: (1987) Pages: 1-25
In recent years, evidence has repeatedly indicated the presence of a well-organized network of extremist rightwing groups in the United States, all connected in some way to the so-called Christian Identity Movement which espouses antisemitic, racist, fundamentalist, and antifederalist beliefs.
Organized hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and various incarnations of Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) Party have existed in the United States for decades. However, the advent of extremist paramilitary groups oriented toward survivalism, outdoor skills, guerrilla training, and outright sedition is a new phenomenon. These groups are bound by a shared hostility to any form of government above the county level, the vilification of Jews and nonwhites as children of Satan, an obsession with achieving the religious and racial purification of the United States, the belief in a conspiracy theory of powerful Jewish interests controlling the Government and the media, and support for the overthrow of the U.S. Government. Some of the most fanatical group members believe in the possibility of actually overthrowing the U.S. Government and unleashing a nuclear attack on Israel. The geographic center of the rightwing movement is in the West, Midwest, and South. Membership in four main rightwing extremist groups is estimated as follows: Aryan Nations--6,000; Posse Comitatus- -3,000; Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord--100; and Order--25. The organization of these four groups is described, and emerging links between white supremacists and the Black Muslim Nation of Islam are examined. The use of violence by the antiabortion movement is also addressed. Policy implications and directions for further research relative to rightwing extremism are noted. 22 references, 1 table, and 3 figures
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