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

Conspiracy Theorists: Isaac Caused by God, Gov’t, or Maybe Chemtrails

By Leah Nelson on August 29, 2012 - 10:46 am, Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies, Media Extremism

Hurricane Isaac has inconvenienced a lot of people.

Many thousands of Gulf Coast residents have boarded up windows and sought shelter inland. And many others are now facing the prospect of cleaning up and rebuilding flooded homes and businesses.

But the inconvenienced people we’ve been hearing about most are the pundits and politicians who gathered in Tampa this week for the Republican National Convention. ( continue to full post… )

Anti-LGBT Zealots Target Fox and Bill O’Reilly

By Zachary Conn on August 29, 2012 - 10:43 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Christian Right, Hate Groups

Leave it to extreme elements of the anti-LGBT right to make Fox News look almost “fair and balanced” after all.

Frequently the target of left-leaning criticism, the cable news network and its most popular host, Bill O’Reilly, are now coming under fire for “helping violent homosexuals to kill Christians.”

Last week, a group of anti-gay activists leveled that charge as part of a campaign aimed at stopping O’Reilly from inviting LGBT rights advocate Wayne Besen onto his primetime program. ( continue to full post… )

Two ‘Sovereigns’ Plead Guilty in Alaska Murder Plot

By Bill Morlin on August 28, 2012 - 1:45 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Militias, Sovereign Citizens

An Alaska couple who are antigovernment “sovereign citizens” face lengthy prison terms after pleading guilty Monday to charges they plotted to kill a federal judge and an IRS agent involved in a tax case against them.

Lonnie Vernon, 56, a member of Schaeffer Cox’s Alaska Peacemakers Militia, and his wife, Karen Vernon, 66, admitted conspiring to kill U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline and IRS officer Janice Stowell in 2011 in retaliation for ruling the couple owed more than $165,000 in back taxes. ( continue to full post… )

New Intelligence Report Focuses on Possible Border Vigilante Killings

By Mark Potok on August 28, 2012 - 8:32 am, Posted in Intelligence Report

Are U.S.-born vigilantes murdering Latino immigrants near the U.S.-Arizona border?

The Southern Poverty Law Center today released its latest issue of the Intelligence Report, and the magazine’s cover story sifts through some of the evidence suggesting that undocumented immigrants may have been killed by nativist extremists in Arizona.

While the story is not conclusive, it cites internal law enforcement documents focusing on the murders of four people in two 2007 incidents near Eloy, Ariz., that say that “[i]t appears that the same group of individuals is working in concert to intentionally kill IAs [illegal aliens].” The story also examines the remarkably similar murders of two people this April in the same remote area of the state. ( continue to full post… )

Prosecutors: Secret ‘Militia’ in Army Planned to Blow Dam, Poison Apples

By Bill Morlin on August 27, 2012 - 3:48 pm, Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Militias

Four members of a secret militia group, now facing murder charges in Georgia, operated inside the ranks of the U.S. Army and discussed blowing up a dam and poisoning fruit crops in Washington State, authorities said Monday. The motives of the alleged plotters remained murky.

The revelation came as Army Pfc. Michael Burnett, 26, struck a plea bargain with prosecutors in Long County, Ga., agreeing to testify against three other soldiers who called themselves the FEAR militia (Forever Enduring Always Ready). ( continue to full post… )

Conspiracists Say Recent Shootings ‘False Flag’ Attacks by Government

By Leah Nelson on August 27, 2012 - 2:27 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies, Patriot Groups

Kurt Nimmo says that there is no problem with violent white supremacists in the military.

His boss, Alex Jones, says that there is no problem with gun violence in America – at least, no problem that’s not a result of government-sponsored “mind-control” experiments.

Jones and Nimmo, who are among the biggest spinners of conspiracy theories in the United States, are revered within the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, which is always eager to ascribe malevolent plots to the government. Their fantastical allegations appeared recently on Infowars and PrisonPlanet, Jones-run websites that warn obsessively of a supposed government conspiracy to surrender national sovereignty to the forces of a fascistic “New World Order.” ( continue to full post… )

Arizona Neo-Nazi Was Sober, Drug-Free During Murder Spree

By Bill Morlin on August 27, 2012 - 1:51 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

Immigrant-hating neo-Nazi J.T. Ready was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he went on a murderous rampage in early May in Gilbert, Ariz., killing four people before taking his own life, a newly released autopsy report says.

Jason Todd “J.T.” Ready, 39, died from a single bullet he fired into his own “right temporal scalp,” Maricopa County Medical Examiner Etoi Davenport ruled in the formal autopsy report. “The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head, and the manner of death is suicide,” the report said. ( continue to full post… )

Bulletin: Four Soldiers in ‘Militia’ Said to Plot Government Overthrow

By Mark Potok on August 27, 2012 - 12:20 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Militias

Update: The AP is reporting that members of the militia “wore distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol,” according to a prosecutor.

Prosecutors today said that four active-duty soldiers in Georgia formed what was described as an “anarchist militia” and took steps aimed at overthrowing the U.S. government, The Associated Press reported.

One of the four, Pfc. Michael Burnett, told a judge in Ludowici, Ga., today that former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany York, were murdered in December because he knew of the militia’s plans and was a “loose end,” the AP said. Burnett pleaded guilty today to manslaughter and gang charges.

The group spent $87,000 on guns and bomb-making materials, according to prosecutor Isabel Pauley. The AP also quoted Pauley saying the men intended to take over Fort Stewart, bomb unnamed sites in Savannah, Ga., and Washington state, and assassinate the president.

Nativist Lawyer Kris Kobach Jumps on Anti-Shariah Bandwagon

By Leah Nelson on August 27, 2012 - 12:00 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Extremist Propaganda

Kris Kobach, the immigrant-baiting attorney behind a raft of “attrition through enforcement” laws designed to make unauthorized immigrants’ lives so miserable that they choose to “self-deport,” is letting his Islamophobic colors fly.

Talking Points Memo reported last week that the Republican National Convention (RNC) has amended its platform to include a ban on “foreign law.” Kobach introduced the plank, saying, “I’m not aware of any court that’s actually accepted the argument, but in cases involving either spousal abuse or assault or other crimes against persons, sometimes defenses are raised that are based in Shariah Law.”

Shariah law is Islamic religious law, and the far political right has spent much of the last two years ginning up groundless fears that it will be imposed on the United States — an impossibility under the Constitution. Already, two states have banned “foreign law” based on those fears, and close to two dozen others have considered such statutes despite Oklahoma’s law being struck down last January. ( continue to full post… )

David Barton’s Make-Believe Version of American History

By Mark Potok on August 24, 2012 - 4:35 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Aug. 20 at the website of Other Words, which publishes progressive editorials and offers them to newspapers around the country.

David Barton, a self-styled Christian historian who claims to debunk left-wing myths about America, is sure of it: If you studied the Founding Fathers like he has, you would know that “as far as they were concerned, they had already had the entire debate on creationism and evolution.”

And the creationists, Barton says, won.

Just one little problem: Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species, the founding text of the theory of evolution, wasn’t published until 1859. That’s, oh, about three-quarters of a century after the founders were active. ( continue to full post… )