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When Wade Michael Page strode into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and began to kill, it was the culmination of more than a decade in the neo-Nazi movement. The best evidence suggests that Page came to his racist beliefs while serving at a North Carolina Army base that was then a hotbed of white supremacist activity — beliefs that were further honed by years on the white power music scene.
The Southern Poverty Law Center today released the latest issue of its investigative magazine Intelligence Report, and its cover story analyzes the background and ideological development of Page, who murdered six people and wounded four others last August before putting a bullet in his own head. An accompanying sidebar details the modern history of right-wing extremism in the American military, and a related editorial traces the growth of political violence aimed at Muslims.
“Wade saw the military as a transformational time in his life,” one expert who was also a personal acquaintance of Wade told the Intelligence Report. “He always said, ‘If you don’t go in the military a racist, you’re sure to leave as one.’”
Other stories in the newly released Report:
- More than a decade after the headquarters of the Aryan Nations was shut down, a protégé of the neo-Nazi group’s late founder is building a new Idaho compound that is already attracting Klansmen and other radicals.
- Former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, an iconic figure of the militia movement of the 1990s, is back, spreading radical ideology as head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
- A man who was one of the three “commissioners” heading the deadly Aryan Brotherhood prison gang spills the beans in an interview touching on the racist group’s murders, its banking and collection systems, and a whole lot more.
- A plot that authorities say developed on a Georgia military base this year might have been taken as a joke, had the conspirators not allegedly murdered two of their own and acquired nearly $90,000 worth of weaponry.
- The American Front, a skinhead group whose leader was murdered last year, is now headed by a man who mixes racism with opposition to capitalism.
- An intellectual who once worked at American Renaissance, a journal specializing in the “psychopathology” of black people, says he now rejects white nationalism and what he sees as its genocidal program.