The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is calling for a federal crackdown on “conspiracy-minded antigovernment Patriot groups.” In a statement released today to coincide with the publication of the Spring issue of the SPLC newsletter Investigative Report, the Center warned of “an 813-percent rise since 2008″ of “conspiracy-minded antigovernment Patriot groups” and requested Attorney-General Eric Holder form an “interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat.”
“As in the period before the Oklahoma City bombing, we now are seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns,” SPLC President Richard Cohen was quoted in the press release. Cohen is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.
A Google Maps map created by the SPLC to accompany their press release displays location and brand data for the 1,360 organizations the Center says exist. A sampling of locations:
- The San Francisco Bay area hosts seven of what the SPLC termed “conspiracy-minded antigovernment Patriot groups,” including six chapters of the Nation of Islam and one chapter of the Christian Guardians,
- Salt Lake City, Utah had two such groups, the SPLC claimed: the Creativity Alliance and Crusaders for Yahweh,
- Hawai’i was the only state to have no “conspiracy-minded antigovernment Patriot groups,” according to the SPLC map.