Report: Anti-government 'patriot' groups reach all-time high - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Report: Anti-government 'patriot' groups reach all-time high

ADL Regional Director Bill Straus talks with CBS 5's Greg Argos ADL Regional Director Bill Straus talks with CBS 5's Greg Argos
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

According to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, conspiracy-minded anti-government 'patriot' groups have reached an all-time high in 2012.

"In 2008, there were a mere 149 of these organizations," said the report's author, Mark Potok.

"In 2012, we counted 1,360 of them. That works out to be more than an 800 percent increase in four years," he continued.

Potok says anger over the economy and the Obama administration's gun control proposal may be factors behind the explosive growth of such groups. Although Potok says the patriot groups are not necessarily hate groups, he warns there should still be concern over the rise.

"What we worry about is violence, (including) criminal violence and terrorism," said Potok.

"Clearly the vast majority of people in these groups will never blow up a federal building or shoot anyone or commit a major crime," he stated.

However, Bill Straus, the Arizona regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said in our state, he is worried about those rare few that can cause a huge amount of hurt.

"The hate that builds in an individual who sits all day at a computer getting angrier and angrier at what he doesn't have (is concerning). The one person in the year 2013 is capable of doing more damage and violence than armies (were) able to do 100 years ago," explained Straus.

Though the SPLC says Arizona has 18 patriot groups and counting, Straus says the actual number of such groups is not as important as making sure those groups lose their appeal, especially to a younger generation.

"We try to teach kids that being different than someone else is an opportunity not a problem. It's going to be a continuing battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil," said Straus.

To read the full report from the SPLC, click here.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • US women beat Canada for gold in a 3-2 shootout thriller

    US women beat Canada for gold in a 3-2 shootout thriller

    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-22 07:34:20 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:15 AM EST2018-02-22 13:15:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). United States celebrates winning gold after the women's gold medal hockey game against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). United States celebrates winning gold after the women's gold medal hockey game against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

    Twenty long years after taking gold when the sport debuted in 1998, the United States snapped Canada's streak of four straight Olympic golds with a 3-2 shootout victory.

    More >>

    Twenty long years after taking gold when the sport debuted in 1998, the United States snapped Canada's streak of four straight Olympic golds with a 3-2 shootout victory.

    More >>
  • Nowitzki 'disgusted' by report of hostile workplace for Mavs

    Nowitzki 'disgusted' by report of hostile workplace for Mavs

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:13 AM EST2018-02-21 07:13:50 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:09 AM EST2018-02-22 13:09:11 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace environment for women.

    More >>

    The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace environment for women.

    More >>
  • Wise gives it all, and comes out with another Olympic gold

    Wise gives it all, and comes out with another Olympic gold

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 11:26 PM EST2018-02-22 04:26:51 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:08 AM EST2018-02-22 13:08:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). David Wise, of the United States, jumps during the men's halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregory Bull). David Wise, of the United States, jumps during the men's halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

    It's the seventh gold medal for the U.S. in Pyeongchang, five of which have come from snowboard and freestyle skiing events.

    More >>

    It's the seventh gold medal for the U.S. in Pyeongchang, five of which have come from snowboard and freestyle skiing events.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly