April 15th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Right-wing extremism may be on rise, report says

(CNN) – Right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members, a Department of Homeland Security report contends.

The Department of Homeland Security says membership in extremists groups like this may be increasing.

Though the nine-page report said it has "no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence," it said real-estate foreclosures, unemployment and tight credit "could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past."

The report, prepared in coordination with the FBI and published April 7, was distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement officials under the title "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."

It compares the current climate the 1990s, "when right-wing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers."
It cites proposed restrictions on weapons as likely to increase membership in extremist groups and expresses concern the groups might try to recruit veterans.

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Filed under: DHS
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    C – R – A – Z – Y is the best word to describe them. It WAS GREED that took this country down, not the minorities. The foundation of HONOR, INTEGRITY and HONESTY was crushed for the past 8 years under three ghostly figures called W, Chen ey and Rove. So give me a BREAK!!!

    April 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. obama/mama

    I don't understand. Where were these right wing extremists when Bush was taking us down the toilet. Don't these fools realize the cause of the current problems we are having in this country. I surely hope they are not blaming our current president. These extremists should be treated like the Taliban

    April 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Tom in Delaware

    I oppose the failing policies of Barack Hussien Obama, if that makes me a right-wing extremists then so be it.

    Down with Socialism.

    Down with Obama.

    Hurray for the Tea Party Movement.

    BTW- why doesn't CNN conduct one of your infamous polls to determine how many Law Enforcement Officers suport BO.

    April 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Tulsa L

    These right wing groups are not worthy of any news coverage......nothing but thugs

    April 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Dave in Illinois

    Sounds like the reports in the late Sixties under Nixon fanning fear of the peace movement with little specific information and heavy use of the word "may".

    April 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Chi Town

    Lot of "coulds" in this argument. Do you have any evidence of this at all?

    Democrats... the new party of FEAR

    April 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. VAisforLovers

    People thought racism was dead... then they blame Obama for it being on the rise. There is never a valid excuse for outright hate like this. One person is NOT responsible for these ignorant groups. This is just plain sad. The membership is rising, but it won't last. Or at least one can hope.

    April 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. ErikS.

    Yawn, when the times get tough these sheeple always look for someone to blame, whether it be people of different color or different thought process. If you really think this has to do with Obama, then please, by all means, push this angle to help in the Obama does everything right reports. Fact is these loseres recruit more whenever something pops up, immigration, taxes, war, black presidents, black Supreme Court appointes. When you have an undeveloped mind, any fool will join any cause to make themselves feel safer.

    April 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. jeb

    well w/ fox news,rush limpbraugh, and company fanning the flames of division and hate. they are getting into the minds of the afraid and weak. ooooooohhhh they are taking over the country . i have tried to tell black folks that the white man is circling the wagons, ala fox news and right-wing hate radio host, aka sharon hannity.

    April 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Debby

    Approved by Carl Rove and Rush Limbaugh!

    April 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. U.S. Grant

    Unbelievable. Typical Democrats – criminalize any opposition and threaten anyone who speaks out against their agenda or Saint Obama.

    Who's a "right wing extremist?" Well, it's apparently up to Democrats to decide.

    This is Obama's government. Welcome to speech codes and threats.

    And, despite what CNN says, there were no "similar" DHS reports issued on "left wing extremist groups." There was ONE report on ELF and other specific eco-terrorist groups. In this case, there are no particular "right wing" groups cited – it's all about generalizations, which could include anyone opposed to Obama.

    I want my country back.

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    This is very scary to say the least! The conservative Republican talk radio people really need to dial down their hate mongering rhetoric! If anti-Obama violence explodes in this country, THEY will be directly responsible for stirring these nuts up and fanning the flames of hate in this country. Limbaugh,Beck, Hannity and all the others really need to stop and think about what is coming out of their mouths for once in their lives. Do they REALLY want to take the heat for what they're preaching??? I don't think so. They shouldn't be so smug in their jobs that they think they can't be fired like the rest of us!

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Syed Rahman - Michigan

    This should not be a story....Let's face it, there will always be people of hate in the world. But Most people in this world are not racist and actually care about others regardless of race, age, sex etc. I also think it is offensive to refer to Hate-filled people as Right wing extremeists. Why does cnn have to label these people as right-wingers?

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Independent Voter

    this is not the america of the past – we will fight back!! don't let these racists idiots (ie. limbaugh, hannity, coulter, palin) and the like get you a stay in the hospital, the prison or the grave!!

    God Bless President Obama, VP Biden, the First Families and "Bo"

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Grace

    This group is fueled by disgruntled Republicans.

    April 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Brian Crooks

    April 15th, 2009 12:04 pm ET

    I oppose the failing policies of Barack Hussien Obama, if that makes me a right-wing extremists then so be it.

    Down with Socialism.

    Down with Obama.

    Hurray for the Tea Party Movement.

    BTW- why doesn't CNN conduct one of your infamous polls to determine how many Law Enforcement Officers suport BO.
    THAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU AN EXTREMIST. Give me a break. The problem is that whenever anyone who considers themselves a conservative hears criticism of another "conservative," they think it means ALL conservatives are under attack. The report never once mentioned the word "conservative" or "Republican." It was specifically discussing violent anti-government groups bent on destroying the government and doing harm to minorities. Do you want to bomb the capitol? Do you want to hunt down gays and other minorities and kill them? If not, YOU'RE NOT AN EXTREMIST.

    April 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. LaTreetha E. Sharpley

    Where were all these people when the Bush adminstration was taking this nation down like a tea bag. Why did they not speak out and say something. This is all about HATE, and our currnet President. We as a nation should stand up and tell these extremists to climb back under the rock from which they came

    God Bless President Obama and the USA

    April 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Chloe

    A group where education is not required.

    April 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Saad

    Maybe this finding can be used to better understand the Afghanistan and Northern areas of Pakistan recruitment philosophy. Extremists/terrorists masterminds in those areas capitalize on the ignorance of innocent people, relatively speaking of course, and hire them to carry out their own evil agendas.

    Right-wing extremism is not good for any country in the world. Whether it's the U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Iran or any of the other 230 or so countries in the world, extremism compromises on prosperity of the country it exists in.

    There is no short term answer to the problem. In long term, better education and a prosperous economic environment are the two best answers to this menace. It will deprive the extremists of mass recruiting and mass spread of hatred.

    April 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. flybyshoeing

    So What. DHS put out a similar report in February about Left Wing extremists. Selective outrage, I'd say. It is curious though that so many so called "conservatives" think it is about them. The word "conservative" never appears in the report. Are they admitting they are right wing fanatics?

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. annie - Palin 2012

    This DHS is a JOKE! Shouldn't they be concentrating their efforts for natural disasters and possibilities of terrorist attacks rather than our fine military men and women and tea parties?

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Minnesotan

    It seems to me that all right wingers (and Somali pirates) are extremists. They want payback for people righting their wrongs.

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    These hate groups have been around for years and I don't consider them to be right or left winged. These are people who can't escape their hate for change and a diversified society and America will not move backwards to tolerate inclusiveness. Together we stand and departed we will surely fall.

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Debbie from VA

    This is disgraceful. The article said there is nothing to support this "theory". I am insulted and demand an apology. We used to be allowed to disagree.

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Proud American

    Aren't they just Repblican's?

    April 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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