The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Man Arrested With Explosives Near Topeka Capitol Released

By Bill Morlin on February 16, 2012 - 4:37 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Investigators with the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) will seek criminal charges against a Florida man who was detained Wednesday after explosive material was found in his pickup truck, which was parked near the state Capitol in Topeka.

The suspect, detained in a publicly accessible tunnel on the Capitol campus, was released following questioning by KHP’s Capitol Police officers and detectives with the Topeka Police Department, KHP spokesman Patrick Saleh said today. Because the suspect wasn’t booked into jail, his name isn’t yet public record and can’t be released, Saleh said.

Highway Patrol investigators will meet Friday or Monday with Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to review evidence retrieved from the man’s truck and items found when a search warrant was served at a Topeka home where he was living, Saleh told Hatewatch. “We’re hoping to have it done by the end of the week, but it may be Monday before our investigators meet with the district attorney,” Saleh said. ( continue to full post… )

Anti-Immigrant Theocrat Repeats Lies About Disease

By Leah Nelson on February 16, 2012 - 2:46 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

A recent fundraising letter from the Conservative Caucus Foundation bears an interesting warning for subscribers: Not only are “illegal aliens” “stealing American jobs,” “DEMANDING amnesty” and having “jackpot babies” so they can “get on the welfare gravy train” – they’re also endangering U.S. citizens with the filthy diseases they carry over the border.

“Some illegal aliens bring diseases we thought were long gone,” the letter proclaims. “Tuberculosis (TB), dysentery, typhoid, malaria, tapeworm, river blindness and guinea worm come into America with illegal aliens.” Elsewhere, it warns of polio. ( continue to full post… )

Man With Bombs Arrested as Kansas Anti-Immigrant Hearing Opens

By Mark Potok on February 16, 2012 - 8:40 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Crime

A man whose pickup truck contained several homemade anti-personnel bombs was arrested yesterday in a tunnel leading to the Kansas Capitol in Topeka on the same day that hearings on controversial anti-immigrant immigration opened, The Associated Press reports. The man, who police declined to identify, had a sticker on his truck that read, “Welcome to America. Now speak English.”

Capitol spokesman Patrick Saleh said the pickup was parked in a restricted lot for state workers a short distance from the Capitol. Its owner, he said, was arrested in a tunnel connecting the Capitol to an office building after officers spotted an empty holster and other suspicious objects in his truck. He was unarmed and did not resist, and was being questioned later Wednesday by officials of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ( continue to full post… )

Arizona Murder Suspect Uses ‘Sovereign’ Language in Court

By Bill Morlin on February 15, 2012 - 5:50 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

A man accused of twin murders in a Phoenix suburb and facing a possible death sentence used language in his initial court appearance mimicking false legal theories advanced by antigovernment “sovereign citizens.”

Michael Lee Crane, 31, is charged in Maricopa County with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery, burglary and arson.  He is accused of killing Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro in their Paradise Valley, Ariz., home on Jan. 31, then setting fire to the couple’s home in an attempt to conceal the crime. ( continue to full post… )

A New Sheriff Loses His Compass: Muslims Are Not the Enemy

By Jim Cavanaugh on February 15, 2012 - 5:33 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Extremist Propaganda

Editor’s Note: This post was written for Hatewatch by Jim Cavanaugh, the recently retired Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville, Tenn., office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It’s a response to a story today about a sheriff in Tennessee planning training by an anti-Muslim bigot.

Today’s Nashville Tennessean reports that Rutherford County, Tenn., Sheriff Robert Arnold has scheduled training for law enforcement officers that degrades Islam and spreads hatred. The training reportedly is to be put on by a former FBI agent named John Guandolo from the Washington, D.C., area and held at a Murfreesboro, Tenn., church. The Tennessean says that Guandolo has previously stated in training that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”

That statement alone is so anti-American on its face that no law enforcement executive should ever engage a trainer who would utter it, period. It is so clearly in violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that it strains any semblance of reality. Muslim Americans, it says, are people without constitutional protection, people who I suppose are to be regarded as less than other Americans. ( continue to full post… )

Progressive Faith Group to MSNBC: Stop Hosting Tony Perkins

By Leah Nelson on February 15, 2012 - 2:51 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

A progressive religious group on Tuesday delivered to MSNBC 20,000 signatures from people who want the cable news channel to stop inviting Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins to serve as a guest commentator on its programs.

Faithful America began the petition drive about a month ago. The group describes itself as “an online community of tens of thousands of citizens motivated by faith to take action on the pressing moral issues of our time,” including poverty, human rights and “hate speech and misinformation in the media pertaining to people of faith.”

Perkins is an anti-gay hardliner who has said that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem.” In 2010, the SPLC designated the FRC a hate group due to its long history of spreading false propaganda about LGBT people. ( continue to full post… )

Mississippi Lawmaker Introduces Alabama-Style Anti-Immigrant Bill

By Heidi Beirich on February 14, 2012 - 3:39 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The Mississippi lawmaker who today introduced anti-immigrant legislation modeled after Alabama’s disastrous HB 56 is a member of a network of legislators that has embraced a raft of beliefs and conspiracy theories that currently animate radical-right extremists.

Rep. Becky Currie is one of about 65 members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, or SLLI, in 40 states. SLLI was founded in 2007 by Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, an anti-immigrant hardliner who has written on SLLI’s website that “the personal and economic safety” of all Americans is threatened by “the ongoing invasion of illegal aliens.” He has  compared the situation to that facing the colonies during the American Revolution. ( continue to full post… )

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Sues Government Over Grammar

By Bill Morlin on February 14, 2012 - 3:00 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

These days, the U.S. Department of Justice and its investigators and prosecutors get accused of a lot of things by conspiracy-minded antigovernment extremists, but here’s a new one. A so-called “sovereign citizen” in the state of Washington, just sentenced to 40 months in prison, has filed suit accusing the government and its agents of using poor grammar and writing at a second-grade level.

David Russell Myrland filed the civil suit in U.S. District Court in Seattle with help from David Wynn Miller, another sovereign who claims he became the “king of Hawaii” in 1996 after turning that state’s name into a verb. (For the record, Miller prefers the “full-colon” spelling of his name, David-Wynn: Miller. Like many sovereigns who don’t recognize most state and federal laws, he claims the government uses grammar to enslave it citizens. By using hyphens and colons in their names, he claims, citizens can escape the grasp of government and its taxes.) ( continue to full post… )

Youth for Western Civilization Takes ‘Patriot’ Plunge

By Leah Nelson on February 14, 2012 - 2:58 pm, Posted in Patriot Groups

Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), the ultraconservative student group sworn to defend “the West” from the “radical left” and multiculturalism, seems to be finding new friends on the radical right – and a new enemy in the federal government.

Founded just over five years ago by American University student Kevin DeAnna, YWC is already notorious for its cordial relations with white nationalists like Jared Taylor and nativists like Tom Tancredo, the former congressman who serves as its honorary chairman. The group is tied up with anti-Muslim activists, and the leader of its Towson State University chapter in Maryland is a member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South. ( continue to full post… )

Trial Begins for Hutaree Militia Members Accused of Plotting Attack

By Bill Morlin on February 13, 2012 - 4:33 pm, Posted in Militias

A jury in Detroit today began the task of attempting to determine whether a heavily armed Christian militia group was embarking on an armed confrontation with the federal government or merely living in a fantasy world of “recreation” and protected free speech.

Seven members of the Hutaree militia arrested in an FBI sweep last March are on trial in U.S. District Court on charges of seditious conspiracy – plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government – and the companion felonies of attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and possession of firearms during crimes of violence.  An eighth member has struck a plea bargain and may be a key prosecution witness during the trial, expected to last six to eight weeks.

“These individuals … wanted an armed confrontation with law enforcement and the federal government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline said in opening statements, the Detroit Free Press reported. ( continue to full post… )