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March 5th, 2013
12:05 PM ET

Anti-government extremist groups increasing, say experts

By Callie Carmichael, CNN

(CNN) - The number of American "patriot" extremist groups has reached a record level, according to a new study, and experts are warning of a wave of anti-government violence.

A report released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,360 "patriot" extremist groups in 2012 - up by 7% from 2011. The study defines patriot groups as anti-government militias driven by their fear that authorities will strip them of their guns and liberties.

"They believe the Constitution is being raped. With hate groups, things are going to get worse because they feel like they're in battle," said David Gletty a former FBI informant who spent time undercover with various militia and extremist groups. "It's not surprising with their hatred of President (Barack) Obama that there are even more hate groups out there."

The study said California has the most patriot extremist groups, with 81.

The SPLC report also offers a bit of good news: The number of "immigrant-bashing" extremist groups - so-called nativism organizations - is way down from 2011, falling by 88%.

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soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Biglou1964

    Hey the Klan, one of the Democrat's prouder moments in history. You Dems don't mention the Klan too much these day. Oh yes, you founded the original KKK, not the newer version we see today. Yeah big difference.

    April 17, 2013 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. john

    What!!! This cant be...after all, the great uniter, the great messiah, the hope and change president is still in charge. You know the one who promised to bring the world together, who achieved the nobel peace prize.....the only thing more pathetic than this lefty loon bafoon are the ones who voted for hime...TWICE!!!

    April 15, 2013 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      both the left and the right have their loonies, as you have so admirably shown

      April 16, 2013 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. amongidiots

    Keep shoving your lgbt agenda down our throats cnn, and more will join. People are sick of it, what do you expect

    April 12, 2013 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. krehator

    Just a coincidence that they typically side with Republicans?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • wahoo1969

      I don't think you quite understand these groups... They are about as anti-establishment, anti-government and dangerous as you can get. Do you seriously think these groups actively pursue and discus politics and vote?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • timelord7202

        That depends. Who are they voting for, and what's the perceived difference?

        April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      ^^^funny how they are mostly in liberal states

      April 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. robjh1

    Interesting. And we were lead to believe that with the election of the first black president racism had died. Thank you for the fantasy media.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      no one said racism died...its like violence or anything else its always going to be around....

      April 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • bonny

        Keith, you're so correct. Hatered will always be around, it was strong when Jesus walked the earth. The way I look at it, if a person hates an individual due to their, race, religion, whom they marry or friends with, truthfully they need to look at themselves. My Granny would say, to hate someone so much you cant possibly love yourself!

        April 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Prior to 2008 I thought it was practically dead. Only alive in the deep south...... The I saw the outright hatred for this good man right from day one.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Victor

    It's very sad the word patriot has been corrupted in such a way. A patriot used to be someone who loves his country. Today it means someone who would love to fight his country.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bud

    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. – Charles Beard

    April 7, 2013 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ed F.

    Just Christians being Christians.

    April 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    These hateful people are not patriots. Also, patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

    March 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lucifer

    Wow. Okay, let me clear up the confusion. This article is NOT calling patriots extremists. The article is sarcasticaly using partiots to describe extremists, because groups like the KKK like to call themselves patriots. i would hope the average person could see and correctly interpret obvious quotation marks.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lucifer

    The article is saying that the extremists call themselves patriots, while the term is actualy quite ironic, since they are talking about anti-government groups.

    March 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TXLibertarian

      It's also interesting that you would equate anti-government with being un-patriotic. Government and country are intertwined but distinct. I would call American revolutionaries patriotic and anti-government (British government) at the same time.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. PaulC

    Probably a better term would be "paranoid extremists". There is absolutely no evidence to support the delusion that the gov. is going to raid their homes and take their guns, bible, 4th grade diploma or big gulp.
    It's really a temporary situation. The level of lunacy will decrease as soon as a white person is elected president.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kita

      I think what Paul c meant was that the people hat hate Obama for being a black president will finally stop acting so crazy once another white president is elected

      April 13, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Susan Jones

    Odd that I replied to DavidMann and my patriotic response did not post. hammmmm

    March 24, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    How about we take back the country from all the stupid people that don't know the difference between are and our. Or those that don't know how to use capital letters properly.

    March 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer

      You should have made your post a compound sentence, because now "Those" in the second sentence is an indiscript noun; also, you are saying that we will take the power from one of the two groups you described, not all under either description.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jcraw

    "California has the most patriot extremist groups, with 81" California??? Who knew! Unfortunately you can't stop people from Hating... It will only get worse as we become one big melting pot, one world future.

    March 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sdovhasov

      It's probably due to the fact that California has such a large population. Nevertheless, I was shocked as well.

      March 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  16. david mann

    If it's not Halloween, and you're prancing around wearing a sheet, you're a racist coward. KKK, and all the rest of these so called "Patriot groups", are just a bunch of cowardly bullies. The only time they take action is when there's a mob of them against the people they hate. Pathetic!

    March 21, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  17. LATIN LOVER

    YOU BET!!!

    March 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |