This does not surprise me.
An excerpt from the article in the Los Angeles Times:
Anti-Government Groups Show Surge, Watchdog Warns
LOS ANGELES (March 2) — The number of American anti-government militia and “patriot” groups, largely dormant since their heyday in the mid-1990s, mushroomed at an “astonishing” rate last year, raising “grave concern” about the potential for future domestic terrorism, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The nonprofit civil rights organization, which tracks the hate movement and anti-government groups, counted 512 militias and related groups in 2009, up from 149 groups the year before. And, it said, the movement has added a layer of racism largely absent a decade ago.
At the same time, the organization has observed a spike in what it calls “nativist extremist groups,” defined as those that “confront or harass suspected immigrants,” to 309 groups last year, up from 173 the year before.
Hate groups also grew slightly, from 926 to 932, continuing what the SPLC said was a trend that began around 2000, and rising 54 percent in the decade. The growth was “driven largely by an angry backlash against nonwhite immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African-American president.”
Fear and frustration were the fuel, the report said.
“The anger seething across the American political landscape … goes beyond the radical right,” the report said, adding that the rage was fed by “racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama administration that are seen as ‘socialist’ or even ‘fascist.'”
Members of the National Socialist Movement, a white supremacist group, march at a rally against illegal immigration on Oct. 24 in Riverside, Calif. The number of groups that “confront or harass suspected immigrants” has surged from 173 in 2008 to 309 last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.