The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The FBI in 2010 disrupted what its agents now believe was a terrorist plot that involved killing President Obama, according to testimony and court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Wash.
The revelation came at the two-day sentencing hearing for white supremacist Wayde Lynn Kurt, the accused mastermind of an alleged plot that was foiled with his arrest on federal firearms and forgery charges.
At the time of his arrest on Aug. 30, 2010, Kurt was associated with a gang of violent neo-Nazi skinheads and white supremacist Odinists who proudly talked of carrying out “coon-hunting” racial attacks in the Pacific Northwest. Their conversations were captured on a videotape that was later turned over to the FBI and shown in court during Kurt’s sentencing hearing. ( continue to full post… )
A would-be Aryan warrior who apparently thought he’d committed the perfect murder forgot one thing: There’s no mud in North Dakota in the middle of the winter.
It was a pair of muddy boots and coveralls, along with a mud stain on a basement wall, that led investigators to discover the buried, decapitated head of a missing state university researcher in January 2011 in Cooperstown, N.D., Griggs County Sheriff Robert S. Hook told Hatewatch today.
Daniel Evan Wacht, a 31-year-racist from California with a lengthy criminal record, was convicted Tuesday in Griggs County District Court of felony murder in the death of Kurt Johnson, 54, of Cooperstown. ( continue to full post… )
The FBI has recovered a disposable camera that reportedly was used to photograph Amish men and women whose beards and hair were forcibly shaved in what is now being prosecuted as a federal hate crime.
That detail is contained in a new, expanded 10-count federal indictment just returned by a grand jury in Cleveland. The indictment increases the number of defendants from seven to 16.
The victims and the defendants in the case are Amish – traditionally pacifists who usually resolve their disputes internally without law enforcement. The beards and hair of the victims were sheared, federal court documents allege, to disgrace the victims as punishment for “previous and ongoing religious disagreements” with members of the Amish faith in Ohio. ( continue to full post… )
The weekend death in California of a 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant – a mother of five children — is drawing worldwide attention as the latest possible U.S. hate crime killing.
Shaima Alawadi died Saturday after she was taken off life support, three days after being found unconscious and brutally beaten in her family home in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, authorities said.
The victim’s 17-year-old daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told San Diego’s KUSI-TV that her mother was beaten on the head with a tire iron and a threatening note was found nearby saying, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” ( continue to full post… )
In the first case of its kind, the FBI on Wednesday arrested the leader of an Amish splinter sect and six of his followers in Ohio on federal hate crime charges for cutting the hair and beards of other Amish men and women.
The hair-cutting was a form of religious degradation and viewed as punishment in a leadership squabble among various Amish clans, court documents say. ( continue to full post… )
Anti-Muslim hate crimes soared by an astounding 50% last year, skyrocketing over 2009 levels in a year marked by the vicious rhetoric of Islam-bashing politicians and activists, especially over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City.
Although the national statistics compiled by the FBI each year are known to dramatically understate the real level of reported and unreported hate crimes, they do offer telling indications of some trends. The latest statistics, showing a jump from 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2009 to 160 in 2010, seem to reflect a clear rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric from groups like Stop Islamization of America. Much of that rhetoric was aimed at stopping an Islamic center in lower Manhattan.
Two psychologists testified this week that a Santa Maria, Calif., parolee charged with trying to murder a local waiter a year ago is mentally incompetent to stand trial. Curtis Martin allegedly asked a waiter at a Denny’s Restaurant if he was gay and when the victim answered that he was, Martin stabbed him twice.
Anthony Weston, one of three men charged with hate crimes in the beating of two Mexican citizens, has pleaded guilty and is expected to receive probation in exchange for his testimony against the other two defendants. Prosecutors say the three men attacked their victims outside a bar in San Francisco last November while yelling “white power.”
Ricky L. Hawkins was indicted on aggravated assault and civil rights intimidation charges for allegedly hitting a black man with a baseball bat in Lake City, Tenn., in 2010. Authorities said Hawkins, who is white, was shouting racial epithets at his victim when he was arrested and later told them that he was angry because the victim had dated a woman Hawkins was going out with. Hawkins reportedly had tattoos associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations group.
It wasn’t much of a surprise, after more than a year of heated anti-Muslim rhetoric, that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 last Sunday brought out some of the worst in American bigotry. Apparent hate crimes linked to the event have been reported in North Carolina, New York, Texas and California, and reports are still coming in. ( continue to full post… )
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter (pdf) to officials yesterday suggesting non-mandatory improvements in the way that the Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Department (SFPD) investigates hate crimes and other practices. The preliminary findings letter was part of a DOJ investigation of the department’s “patterns and practices” in the wake of the 2008 murder of immigrant Marcelo Lucero by a gang of white toughs.
Lucero’s murder by teenagers who had regularly engaged in the ethnic hunting parties they termed “beaner-jumping” shone a light on a community of immigrants who felt they were under siege, subjected to anti-immigrant violence and largely ignored or shunted aside by the police department. It also brought out the way that leading officials in the county had regularly demonized Latino immigrants.
The DOJ’s preliminary findings comported closely with those of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which published a September 2009 report on the situation entitled “Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.” Our report described not only how large numbers of Latinos in Suffolk County were subjected to hate crimes and other abuse, but also how many Latinos felt that SFPD officers ignored or belittled them, often declining to take reports after complaints were made. It also discussed the role of hate groups in the country and, especially, high-level public officials in contributing to an atmosphere of anti-immigrant hate — but those areas were outside the scope of the DOJ investigation. ( continue to full post… )
A North Carolina convenience store was heavily damaged in a middle-of-the-night fire apparently started this week by an arsonist who sprayed hate graffiti marking the anniversary of 9-11. It is the latest in a string of violent crimes, including murders, where the victims are Sikhs – apparently mistaken as Muslims by the hate crime perpetrators. ( continue to full post… )