Obama election spurs wave of hate group violence
Study cites anger of white supremacists
By Joseph Williams
May 11, 2009
WASHINGTON - While the inauguration of the first black president has lessened racial tensions for most Americans, it has set off a wave of violence on the white supremacist fringe, with anti-hate groups attributing six recent killings - including the ambush last month of three Pittsburgh police officers and the fatal shootings last month of two Florida sheriff's deputies - in part to anger over President Obama's election.
According to a study by two leading anti-bias organizations, paranoia over Obama, spread largely through Internet forums and chat rooms, apparently spurred a Maine man to gather components for a "dirty bomb," including substantial quantities of radioactive compounds, in a plot to kill the president. Police found the stockpile in the home of James G. Cummings, a frequent visitor to neo-Nazi websites, after his wife shot and killed him.
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and the National Socialist Movement, said the number of white extremist groups in the United States has increased by about 50 percent since 2000, and activity has sharply increased in recent months. The day after Obama won the presidency, he said, activity on the two most popular white supremacist websites overwhelmed computer servers.
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