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. We truely Love Sarah

    Anyone using the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency as an excuse to join any of these radical groups is a coward. They know their true nature is hate, but are too chicken to say out-right that they hate non-whites.

    Too bad they don't realize that congress is still over 90% white and can remove the President if they deem h is not fit for the jog.

    In-the-mean-time, these racist pigs will continue to use our black President to push their stupidity. Overall, I am happy for them because they are the very ones pushing whites to see how ugly hate can be; and therefore become more receptive towards understanding other races.

    “There is no white America. There is no black. There is only The United States of America.”

    April 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Must be...

    ...clinging to their guns and religions.

    April 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. S.Postive

    Tiny and noisy like a CHIHUAHUA. Enjoy your 15 minutes of noise and GET OUT. More important things to talk about

    April 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. B Lewis

    For all those that accuse Dems and President Obama of being Socialists, I urge them right now to forego any Social Security benefits that they may now receive or that they may receive in the future. The same goes for Medicare. If you can't do that, then you are hypocrits.

    April 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is what the GOP represents – HATE

    They infuriate people to the point where they're enabling them to go out and commit hate crimes. I despise the GOP and can not wait until they are completely dismantled.

    2010 – R.I.P. G.O.P.

    April 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. obama/mama

    I say all Republicans move to Somalia. They will get along just fine.

    April 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    The report mentions taxes, gun control and abortion. Why does CNN always equate right-wing causes with skinheads and the KKK? Robert Byrd, long-time DEMOCRAT senator was a high-ranking KKK leader. The DEMOCRATS were in favor of slavery and Jim Crow and the REPUBLICANS fought to abolish slavery and Jim Crow. How does this history equate to the GOP being racist while the DNC is not?

    April 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Too True For You

    This is just the natural progression of the extreme right's tactics of playing the populist and divisive "us versus them" victim angle.

    Hey liberal haters – did you read the DHS report on left wing extremists groups? And how their strategies are to hit their targets precisely in the pocketbook instead of fomenting armed insurrection? Kind of puts a point on which "side" is the biggest threat to society.

    April 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Jon

    The economy did happen under the watch of the former US IL Sen, now President. Of course he was not the only one who had part in this. Many Democrat’s had a part in this as well as some Republicans. However, this current government is not addressing the economic issues, but rather creating worse economic issues for our future generation. In addition, to say that anyone who disagrees with this administration is an extreme right wing mob ( or likened to the Taliban or nazi party) shows a lot of hate and ignorance. Based on the comments expressed by obama mama and FreeNlovIt (how ironic), it might be said that the followers of Obama are the real ones to fear. I hope that this country can get out of a "who is right" and back into "what is right". In other words, take the emotion out of our arguments and get to the facts.

    April 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. dmcd

    Why is it that when the economy is down, it is the minorities that are to blame?
    Was it the minorities running the financial systems in the country? Was it the minorities who controlled all the banks that were so overstretched they failed? Was it the minorities that controlled Congress and the Fed, two organizations that allowed the financial markets to become so overblown that they were destined to fail?

    Everyone I have seen hauled in front of Congress or the courts because of their culpability in this financial mess has been an old white man.
    This is not a black/white/yellow/brown issue, this a right or wrong issue. Stop blaming minorities, look at who is really to blame and criticize them. If they happen to be a minority fine, but the fact is the majority of the people who are responsible for the countries current economic problems are old white men.

    April 15, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Matthew

    The Obama administration seems to be following the Chavez playbook. This is absolutely Orwellian.

    April 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Chip

    I read this "report" yesterday online. It is poorly written and contains so many unsubstantiated claims that I am ashamed that it is an official product of the government of my country.

    In short, if you agree with the first amendment to the US Constitution, you could have right wing terrorist-extremist traits. In addition, if you agree with the second amendment and feel it should be preserved, you might have extremist views. If you are Catholic (against abortion) you night be a terrorist. If you are a veteran, you could be lured by these extreme right wingers to put your comabt skills to use in a domestic jihad. The shining example of this nugget of widsom is that Timothy McVeigh was a veteran of the US military. So, one data point out of millions establishes a trend.

    This is despicable, Stalin would be proud.

    April 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. shucks

    Let's call them what they are. American terrorists. Pittsburgh had a wake up call the other day with the killing of 3 police officers by one of these psychopaths. The anger they feel because they believe their country is going down the wrong path is nothing compared to the anger they will feel if they keep their rhetoric and terroristic threats aimed at true Americans. We have had enough of these creeps, and I will gladly participate in their removal from society, whenever and whatever it takes.

    April 15, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. WRE

    RWE and loving it!!

    April 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Truth Hurts

    Tea party is a joke. The conservatives have selective memories(not to say hyprocrites) and the tea parties should have taking place when bush was in office. Bush racked up trillions, lied, cheated and corruption but no tea party!! Have a cup of tea on that conservatives!! LOL.

    April 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. David

    If you believe all this hook, line and sinker then they have won and you are very gullible. This is a very slanted ploy by the DHS. They wish to label Americans as "terrorists" to eliminate them. The Washington Post already blew the lid on this and on the Gov of Missouri trying to illegally profile people. The federal government is trying to continue this power grab of our rights and our states rights.

    April 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. LIP

    Since when do Nazi flags represent right wing extremism? Were Nazis right wing extremists? I think not, more like left wing liberals that wanted to deny the rights of individuals such as what is happening right now. Paint them as extremists just because they don't agree with the Democrats. This serves to destroy capitalism, and democracy with one blow.

    April 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Right-wing extremist groups. What groups are you talking about CNN there isn't a names on this article. Racism is still alive doing very well in America. CNN to say extremist groups might try to recruit veterans WHY. America President Obama family tree has deep roots in America history like so many going all the way back to Gabril Duvall who was a Supreme Court Justice. Don't let the color of Preisdent upset you America.

    April 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. rick

    I don't think that the Tea parties have anything to do with right wing extremism.

    I also doubt that Obama has anything to do with Socialism.

    Actually, the both have some small things in common, but I don't think either comparison is valid.

    April 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    And this surprises anybody? With a Presidential campaign that pandered to the extremists to the point where people were actually threatening the lives of our now First Family, and where neo-conservatives are calling for an armed revolt against a duly elected President, this comes as a surprise? I'd be more surprised if there wasn't a growth. And Rush, and the GOP band of NOs are playing right to them...

    April 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. roannamac

    This is why I keep wondering why no one is covering the real story abotu these Tea Bagging Parties. Look in the crowd, are there any black or brown people? Nope. This is just a racist, pathetic movement. People won't come out and say they hate the new black president so they do this kind of mess. Why do you think Fox is sponsering this crap. America, your country is coming apart, blame who really is to be blamed, its not gays, its not blacks, its not doctors who perform abortions, its people who are racist, ignorant. Turn them off. Put Rush and Sean out of business. They can't succeed if you don't listen. Do you think Sean and Rush have any problems paying their bills. Nope, Sean flew to Atlanta in his private jet and is ginning up the poor and ignornant for his own agenda. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

    April 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. 60's survivor

    I had a feeling this ugly snake would reAr it's poisonous head. these snakes cannot abide that someone other than a white good ole boy is President of the USA. I hate to think of what they
    may do it's sickening!!

    April 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Proud Army Vet

    Proud brave U.S. Soldiers died on battlefields in Germany,France, Belgium and France against the Nazi regime that brought the world
    into turmoil during the dark days of WW2!

    Yet in the present day we give these Anti-American Boneheads a
    platform too spread their Vile Filth!

    Freedom isn't free and the notion that it's a free Country we can
    spread hate and discontent because the First Amendment affords us the right too is sometimes hard to Fathom!

    I guess this too is President Obama's fault, yes he's too blame for this
    XENOPHOBIC scourge, MAY White Supremacy REIGN SUPREME in our so called civilized society!

    Yeah CNN I know you won't post this because it's to close too the
    Truth Huh!

    April 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Deb

    so now conservative concerns (states' rights, gun rights, illegal immigration– mentioned in the report) are extremist?
    wow, just wow.
    the leftists are truly taking power.

    April 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Enlightened Voter

    Thanks Republicans! You've fostered more American terrorism.

    April 15, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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