The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
An Iraqi immigrant faces a murder trial Aug. 8 in California in the 2012 death of his wife, whose fatal beating initially sparked international attention as a possible anti-Muslim hate crime.
After the FBI ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, police in El Cajon, Calif., pursued the investigation, looking at domestic violence as a possible motive.
Kassim Al Himidi, 49, was arrested last November following his return to the United States after burying his wife, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, in the couple’s native Iraq. She was found severely beaten in the family’s home in El Cajon on March 21, 2012, and died in a hospital three days later. ( continue to full post… )
More than 250,000 Americans over the age of 12 are victimized every year by hate criminals, according to a new government study that puts the number some 50,000 higher than the best earlier analyses. At the same time, the study found that in recent years only about one in three hate crimes are ever reported to law enforcement officials.
The study, carried out by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, was based primarily on the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, which employs detailed questionnaires that are widely considered the most accurate measure of U.S. crime available. In addition to analyzing more recent years, it refines two earlier studies based on the surveys, to produce data for the years 2003-2011. ( continue to full post… )
The number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right hit an all-time high in 2012, the fourth straight year of explosive growth, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the new year began, serious talk of gun control, prompted by a Connecticut school massacre in December, fueled even more rage on the right, and the threat of violence loomed .
The new report, contained in the latest issue of the quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report, found that the conspiracy-minded Patriot groups, which numbered only 149 in 2008, soared over the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency to 1,360 in 2012 — an astounding 813% increase. At the same time, it found that hate groups remained at near-record levels of over 1,000 (see interactive map and state-by-state lists of 2012 hate groups here).
The resurgence of militias and other Patriot groups and an uptick over recent years in non-Islamic domestic terrorism caused SPLC President Richard Cohen today to write (letter pdf) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to request the creation of a new interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat. “As in the period before the  Oklahoma City bombing,” Cohen wrote, “we are now seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns.” ( continue to full post… )
The leader of a breakaway Amish sect in Ohio was sentenced to 15 year in prison today for orchestrating the cutting of hair and beards of Amish men and women, a form of religious degradation viewed as punishment, the New York Times reported.
Samuel Mullet Sr. was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, along with 15 of his followers, including six women. Others were given lesser sentences ranging from one year and a day to seven years. All of them were convicted of hate crimes last fall, the first such convictions in Ohio under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, which was enacted in 2009. ( continue to full post… )
A Latino street gang leader and his son were sentenced in federal court Monday to lengthy prison terms for their role in a years-long campaign of racist terror and ethnic cleansing targeting African Americans in and around Los Angeles.
Since at least the mid-1990s, Latino street gangs across Los Angeles County have been targeting, beating and sometimes killing blacks in an attempt to drive them out of the region.
Just before Christmas 2006, Cheryl Green, 14, playing on her skateboard with a group of friends just south of 206th Street in Los Angeles, was shot dead in broad daylight by two men who approached the group and opened fire without saying a word. Two members of the 204th Street gang were later arrested in the killing. ( continue to full post… )
A sixth man has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges related to the June 2011 racially motivated killing in Jackson, Miss., of a black man assaulted and run over with a pickup truck by a gang of white youths. That brutal murder was captured on surveillance video and broadcast nationally.
Joseph Paul Dominick, 21, of Brandon, Miss., faces a maximum of five years in prison after pleading guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit federal hate crimes. He pleaded guilty to a criminal information, waiving grand jury indictment and striking a plea deal with federal prosecutors, just a month after The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson published an editorial blasting the Justice Department for a “thick cloud of secrecy” surrounding the protracted investigation. ( continue to full post… )
An Indiana man who pleaded guilty yesterday to setting an Ohio mosque on fire told a judge he was motivated by media accounts – specifically those on Fox News – suggesting Muslims were threatening Americans and were in control of parts of the federal government.
Details made public at the plea hearing also revealed that the arsonist, Randolph Linn, was carrying a pistol when he entered the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on September 30, only minutes after several worshippers had left, and had more guns in his car.
Linn, a 52-year-old truck driver from St. Joe, Ind., expressed no remorse when he admitted trying to burn down the third largest mosque in the United States. Under the terms of a plea agreement, prosecutors and Linn’s defense attorney will recommend a prison term of 20 years when he is sentenced early next year.
Three Mennonite sisters, ranging in age from 84 to 90, remained hospitalized in Lancaster County, Penn., after being assaulted in their home in what authorities describe as a “heinous” and “unfathomable” hate crime.
The alleged perpetrator, 22-year-old Dereck Taylor Holt, was arrested Saturday, one day after a man posing as an insurance salesman forced his way into the women’s home. Over a two-hour period, the assailant used a stun gun on the women and punched, slapped and kicked them. They were left bound for about four hours after the assailant ransacked the house and fled, the Lancaster Intelligence Journal reported in today’s editions. ( continue to full post… )
UPDATE: Police in New York City arrested Salvatore Perrone, 64, over the Thanksgiving weekend and charged him with using a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle he carried in a duffel bag to kill three Brooklyn shopkeepers in the last four months. People who saw surveillance footage of Perrone, who’s white, pointed police to Perrone, despite an artist’s drawing that depicted a balding black man as the suspect. Dubbed “Son of Sal” by his neighbors for his annoying conduct, Perrone may have had previous contact with his victims through his work as a fabric and garment salesman who wanted to start his own clothing line, according to media accounts. He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder, an additional count filed because he allegedly killed three people within two years.
Hate crime detectives in New York City are joining the investigation into three unsolved killings of Brooklyn business owners in the past four months – crimes believed to have been carried out by a serial killer. ( continue to full post… )