The 'Patriot' Movement Timeline
From President Bush's 1990 mention of a "New World Order" to the arrest of a would-be cop-killer this spring, the history of a movement is briefly recounted.
The 'Patriot' Movement Timeline
Sept. 11, 1990: President Bush, describing the post-Cold War world, outlines his vision of a "New World Order." Conspiracy-minded "Patriots" take this as a slip of the tongue revealing secret plans to create a one-world government.
February 1992: White supremacist theorist Louis Beam calls for "leaderless resistance," or cells of fighters who report to no one. In coming years, many in the Patriot movement will pick up the concept.
April 2, 1992: Terry Nichols, who will one day be convicted of conspiracy in the Oklahoma City bombing, renounces his U.S. citizenship, saying he "follow[s] the common law," indicating his early participation in the Patriot movement.
August 1992: James "Bo" Gritz, a Vietnam war hero admired by many Americans, calls for civilian militias during his "populist" campaign for the presidency.
Aug. 31, 1992: White supremacist Randy Weaver surrenders after an 11-day standoff at his cabin on Ruby Ridge, Idaho, that left his wife, son and a U.S. marshal dead. The incident galvanizes many on the radical right.
Oct. 23, 1992: Anti-Semitic Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters hosts the "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous" in Estes Park, Colo., where 160 extremists, reacting to Ruby Ridge, lay out strategies that will help shape the militia movement.
Feb. 28, 1993: Four federal agents and several cultists are killed in a gunfight when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raids the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. The 51-day standoff that follows rivets the nation.
April 19, 1993: The FBI tries to end the Waco standoff by injecting tear gas into a building that subsequently bursts into flames, leaving almost 80 Davidians dead. More than any other event, the debacle ignites the militia movement.
July 8, 1993: In a stinging rebuke to federal law enforcement, a jury acquits Randy Weaver and another man of murdering a U.S. marshal during the Ruby Ridge standoff. Evidence emerges that the FBI loosened its normal rules of engagement and covered up that fact later.
November 1993: The Brady Bill, imposing a waiting period for handgun purchasers, is signed into law, infuriating many gun enthusiasts. Anger at the bill, along with a 1994 ban on some assault weapons, helps fuel the militia movement.
Jan. 1, 1994: The first major modern militia, the Militia of Montana, is officially inaugurated. John Trochmann, a white supremacist supporter of Randy Weaver, heads it.
Jan. 30, 1994: A California official who angered Patriot "common-law" adherents by refusing to vacate an IRS lien is beaten, stabbed and sodomized with a gun. The attack reveals the growing violence of common-law adherents.
March 1994: More than 800 people gather in Kalispell, Mont., to hear Militia of Montana leader John Trochmann, reflecting the growing strength of the militia movement.
April 1994: The Michigan Militia, soon to grow into the nation's largest militia group with up to 6,000 members, is formed by gun shop owner Norm Olson and Ray Southwell.
May 1994: In a speech to the antigovernment U.S. Taxpayers Party, a militant abortion opponent calls on churches to form their own militias, reflecting the increasing convergence of Patriot and anti-abortion activists.
Aug. 4, 1994: Two members of the Minnesota Patriots Council are arrested for making the deadly toxin ricin and later are convicted of plotting to poison federal agents.
Sept. 19, 1994: Self-appointed militia "general" Linda Thompson calls for an armed march on Washington, D.C., prompting other Patriots to renounce her as foolhardy and suicidal. She ultimately rescinds her call.
Sept. 28, 1994: In one of the first acts of the Oklahoma conspiracy, Terry Nichols helps steal explosives from a Kansas quarry. He will help acquire many other materials before leaving co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh a letter urging him to "go for it."
October 1994: More than 1,500 people attend "Operation Freedom" in Lakeland, Fla., listening to speeches and collecting information about starting militias.
October 1994: Six months before the Oklahoma City bombing, Southern Poverty Law Center co-founder Morris Dees writes Attorney General Janet Reno to warn that the "mixture of armed groups and those who hate is a recipe for disaster."
Nov. 14, 1994: A militiaman threatens an Audubon Society official with a noose after the official testifies for an environmental measure. The incident is one of hundreds reflecting Patriot hatred of government regulation of the environment.
February 1995: Some 2,000 people gather in Meadville, Penn., to hear militia figure Mark "Mark from Michigan" Koernke discuss the steps Americans should take to defend themselves from the "New World Order."
April 19, 1995: A truck bomb brings down the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168 people, including 19 children in a day-care center, in America's worst domestic terrorist attack. Timothy McVeigh, later convicted in the bombing, had ideological roots both in the Patriot world and among neo-Nazis like William Pierce, whose novel, The Turner Diaries, served as a blueprint for the attack.
Late April 1995: Echoing Patriot rhetoric, the National Rifle Association says "jack-booted government thugs" have "the government's go-ahead to … murder law abiding citizens." Former President George Bush quits the NRA in protest.
June 1995: The Southern Poverty Law Center releases its first-ever count of antigovernment militia and "Patriot" groups. The report finds that 224 Patriot groups, including 131 militias, were active in 1994.
June 3, 1995: A major gathering of common-law activists is held in the Wichita, Kansas, convention center on the anniversary of the 1984 death of Gordon Kahl, a militant tax protester killed four months after murdering two federal agents.
June 15, 1995: In the wake of the Oklahoma bombing, militia leaders and others testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Many experts see the hearings as something of a militia victory because of the uncritical nature of the questioning.
June 21, 1995: President Clinton signs a directive outlining emergency arrangements in the event of terrorist attacks. It is the first of many actions, including a 1996 order to hire 500 new FBI agents, signifying a new law enforcement emphasis on domestic terrorism.
July 1995: Two militia groups and the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations launch simultaneous campaigns to gather information about and conduct covert surveillance on "opponents."
July 28, 1995: Antigovernment extremist Charles Ray Polk is arrested after trying to purchase a machine gun from an undercover police officer, and is later indicted by federal grand jury for plotting to blow up an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas.
September 1995: William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries and leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, launches a "militia project," encouraging his members to develop contacts with militias in a bid to influence them.
Oct. 9, 1995: Saboteurs derail an Amtrak passenger train near Hyder, Ariz., killing one person and injuring about 70 others. Several antigovernment messages, signed by the "Sons of Gestapo," are left behind. The perpetrators remain at large.
Nov. 9, 1995: Oklahoma Constitutional Militia leader Willie Ray Lampley and two others are arrested as they prepare explosives to bomb numerous targets, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, gay bars and abortion clinics. Lampley, who wrote letters from prison urging others to violence, is freed in 2006.
Dec. 18, 1995: An IRS employee discovers a plastic drum packed with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil in a parking lot behind the IRS building in Reno, Nev. The device failed to explode a day earlier when a three-foot fuse went out prematurely. Ten days later, tax protester Joseph Martin Bailie is arrested for the crime.
March 25, 1996: A common-law group called the Montana Freemen begins an 81-day standoff in Montana after its leaders are arrested and charged with a multimillion-dollar fraud. The standoff ultimately ends peacefully.
April 5, 1996: Patriot activists mix with neo-Nazis and Klansmen at Jubilation '96, a Lake Tahoe, Nev., gathering of more than 500 people hosted by adherents of the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity religion.
April 26, 1996: Two leaders of the Republic of Georgia militia are charged with manufacturing shrapnel-packed pipe bombs. Another member is arrested later and accused of training a team to assassinate politicians.
July 1, 1996: Twelve members of the Arizona Viper Team are arrested on federal conspiracy, weapons and explosives charges after allegedly surveilling and videotaping government buildings as potential targets. All 12 plead guilty or are convicted of various charges, drawing sentences of up to nine years in prison.
Aug. 24, 1996: More than 500 supporters attend a major meeting of the separatist Republic of Texas' "Provisional Government General Council."
Aug. 31, 1996: At the largest Patriot gathering held to date in Washington, D.C., more than 300 people join a "Rally for the Bill of Rights."
Oct. 11, 1996: Seven members of the Mountaineer Militia are arrested in a plot to blow up the FBI's national fingerprint records center, where 1,000 people work, in West Virginia. Ringleader Floyd "Ray" Looker is sentenced to 18 years in prison. Three others are imprisoned for the plot, one for providing blueprints of the FBI facility to Looker.
Oct. 22, 1996: Michigan Militia leader Tom Wayne gives a presentation to over 500 students at a Michigan college, reflecting widespread and still-spreading interest in the movement.
April 18, 1997: A Patriot group files a notice with Maricopa County officials declaring a new "Country of Arizona" supposedly recognized by the United Nations as "Indigenous Nation No. 215."
April 27, 1997: After a cache of explosives blows up near Yuba City, Calif., Montana Freemen supporter William Robert Goehler is arrested. Investigators later arrest two Goehler associates, one of them a militia leader, after finding 500 pounds of explosives in a motor home parked outside their residence. Six others are arrested on related charges.
May 1997: A Southern Poverty Law Center count shows that the Patriot movement reached its peak in 1996 with 858 groups. Thereafter, the number of Patriot groups will decline steadily for a decade, hitting a low of 131 in 2007.
May 3, 1997: Antigovernment extremists, some formerly with the Sons of Liberty, set fire to the IRS office in Colorado Springs, Colo., causing $2.5 million in damage and injuring a firefighter. Federal agents later arrest five men in connection with the arson, an apparent protest against the tax system. That same day, a six-day standoff between police and Republic of Texas common-law separatists ends. One man is killed in a gun battle with the elite Texas Rangers.
June 2, 1997: Timothy McVeigh is convicted in the Oklahoma bombing and will later be sentenced to death. Co-conspirator Terry Nichols will be tried later in the year and sentenced to life in prison. Accomplice Michael Fortier will accept a plea bargain in which he is sentenced to 12 years in exchange for his testimony.
July 4, 1997: Militiaman Bradley Playford Glover and a co-conspirator are arrested before dawn near Fort Hood, Texas. They planned to invade the base and slaughter foreign troops they mistakenly believed were housed there. Eventually, five other people are arrested, all part of a splinter group from the Third Continental Congress, a kind of militia government-in-waiting.
December 1997: Nearly 100 New York City employees, including some corrections officials, are arrested for using common-law "untaxing" kits to evade taxes. The case underscores how far such ideology has spread.
March 8, 1998: A Texas man with reported separatist views similar to those of the Republic of Texas, claiming to be armed and carrying explosives, attempts to take over a Veterans Affairs office in Waco. He eventually surrenders.
June 1998: A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that in the preceding three years, 19 states have passed new laws or strengthened existing ones to cope with bogus property liens and threats from "common-law" adherents. Another eight states are considering similar actions.
July 1, 1998: Three men are charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction after threatening President Clinton and other federal officials with biological weapons. One of the men arrested, Johnnie Wise, had attended meetings of the separatist Republic of Texas.
July 17, 1998: Optimistically labeled a "patriotic Woodstock," the American Heritage Festival ‘98 in Carthage, Mo., draws as many as 3,000 people over two days.
Dec. 30, 1998: A county grand jury orchestrated by conspiracy-minded former Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key finds that there is no evidence of a larger conspiracy in the Oklahoma City bombing. Key immediately denounces the findings.
June 11, 1999: Some 160 hard-line Patriots gather for advanced paramilitary training at the North Carolina property of former Special Forces member John Roberts, head of the Militia of East Tennessee.
Aug. 7, 1999: U.S. marshals seize the Tampa, Fla., headquarters of Greater Ministries International Church to preserve evidence. The seizure follows by seven months the indictment of church principals in a massive, Patriot-influenced scam.
Sept. 13, 1999: Tennessee common-law ideologue Peter Stern is charged with conspiring to defraud tax authorities with fake checks from the Montana Freemen. Around the nation, hundreds of common-law practitioners like Stern are going to jail.
Oct. 13, 1999: Members of the Southern Indiana Regional Militia meet with FBI agents as part of a government effort to defuse tensions between Patriots and officialdom.
November 1999: Nearly 10,000 people in Denver attend the last Preparedness Expo before the New Year to prepare for the "Y2K" collapse that many Patriots fear.
Nov. 5, 1999: FBI agents arrest James Kenneth Gluck in Tampa, Fla., after he wrote a 10-page letter to judges in Jefferson County, Colo., threatening to "wage biological warfare." Police find materials in his home to make ricin, a deadly poison.
Dec. 5, 1999: Two members of the California-based San Joaquin Militia are charged with conspiracy in connection with a plot to blow up two 12-million-gallon propane tanks, a television tower and an electrical substation in hopes of provoking an insurrection. The group's leader pleads guilty to plotting to kill a federal judge and blow up the propane tanks, and testifies against his former comrades.
Dec. 8, 1999: Donald Beauregard, head of the militia coalition Southeastern States Alliance, is charged in connection with a plot to bomb energy facilities in Florida and Georgia. Beauregard once claimed to have discovered a secret map detailing a planned UN takeover printed on a box of Trix cereal.
Jan. 1, 2000: Despite Patriot expectations that the millennial date change will bring martial law or massive social collapse, nothing untoward happens.
Mar. 9, 2000: Mark Wayne McCool, the one-time leader of the Texas Militia, is arrested as he allegedly makes plans to attack the Houston federal building, where he thought the UN had a weapons cache. McCool had bought C-4 plastic explosives and an automatic weapon from an undercover FBI agent.
May 2000: Texas Constitutional Militia member John Joe Gray holes up with heavily armed family members, refusing to face charges of assaulting two highway patrolmen. A decade later, Gray will remain in his home.
July 15, 2000: In a lawsuit brought by surviving Davidians, a judicial panel says the government was not responsible for starting the gun battle that began the Waco standoff. The next week, a special counsel will rule that U.S. officials committed "no bad acts" in Waco.
Feb. 13, 2001: Federal agents seize Indianapolis Baptist Temple, ending a low-key, 92-day standoff and 17 years of the church's refusal to pay withholding taxes. The church is part of the Patriot-influenced "unregistered churches" movement.
Feb. 28, 2001: Separatist Republic of Texas members join an anti-immigration group, Ranch Rescue, in trying to halt immigrants entering the country illegally.
June 11, 2001: Timothy McVeigh, convicted in connection with the murder of 168 people including 19 small children, is put to death.
Oct. 14, 2001: A North Carolina sheriff's deputy pulls over Kentucky Militia leader Steve Anderson, an adherent of racist Christian Identity theology. Anderson, who had issued violent threats against officials via his pirate radio station and whose home is later found to be filled with bombs, fires on the deputy's car and is on the run for the next 13 months.
Nov. 6, 2001: William Cooper, once in the Second Continental Army of the Republic, attacks officers serving him a warrant. Cooper, who believed President Kennedy was assassinated to prevent the disclosure of a secret pact with space aliens, shoots a sheriff's deputy twice in the head before being killed by police.
Feb. 8, 2002: David Burgert, leader of the militia-like Project 7, is arrested after an informant says the group is plotting to kill judges and police to start a revolution. Burgert is found with pipe bombs, 25,000 rounds of ammunition and "intel sheets" with personal information about law enforcement officers, their spouses and children.
Oct. 3, 2002: Larry Raugust, later named an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot with the Idaho Mountain Boys militia to murder a federal judge and a police officer, is arrested at a rest stop in Idaho and charged with possessing destructive devices, including pipe bombs.
Jan. 18, 2003: James D. Brailey, a convicted felon who was once named "governor" of Washington state by a Patriot group, is arrested after a raid on his home turns up a machine gun and other weapons. An informant alleges that Brailey was plotting to assassinate Gov. Gary Locke, partly because he is Chinese-American.
April 3, 2003: Federal agents arrest David Roland Hinkson and charge him with trying to hire an assassin to murder a federal judge, a prosecutor and an IRS agent involved in a tax case against him.
April 10, 2003: The FBI raids the Noonday, Texas, home of William Krar and his storage facilities, finding some 500,000 rounds of ammunition, pipe bombs and remote-control briefcase bombs, plus deadly sodium cyanide. Along with white supremacist and antigovernment material, there are components to convert the cyanide into a bomb capable of killing thousands. Krar refuses to cooperate and later dies in prison.
June 4, 2003: Federal agents in California announce that former accountant John Noster is under investigation for plotting a major terrorist attack. Officials find incendiary devices in his stolen camper and other bombs in his various storage units. In addition to prison time in that case, Noster draws another five years in 2009, after pleading guilty to weapons charges.
Oct. 10, 2003: Police arrest Norman Somerville, an antigovernment extremist enraged over the death of a Michigan Militia member, after finding a huge weapons cache on his property in northern Michigan. They also find vehicles Somerville calls "war wagons," where he planned to mount machine guns as part of a plan to stage an auto accident and then massacre arriving police.
May 24, 2004: During the attempted robbery of a Tulsa bank by father and son Wade and Christopher Lay, a security guard is shot to death. Evidence shows the men wanted money to pay for weapons to kill Texas officials they believed were responsible for the deadly 1993 Waco standoff.
March 19, 2006: David J. D'Addabbo is arrested in Utah for allegedly threatening IRS employees with "death by firing squad" if they tried to collect his taxes.
Jan. 11, 2007: FBI Director Robert Mueller tells the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the "militia/sovereign citizen movement" is a "threat" to government officials. Mueller says members of these groups "intimidate and sometimes threaten judges, prosecutors, and other officers of the court."
April 26, 2007: Five members of the Alabama Free Militia are arrested in north Alabama in a raid that uncovers a cache of 130 homemade hand grenades, an improvised grenade launcher, and other weapons. Raymond Kirk Dillard, the founder and "commander" of the group, had complained about Mexicans taking over the country and reportedly told his troops to open fire on federal agents if ever confronted.
Early 2008: Due to a spike in threats from "sovereign citizens" and others against federal judges and prosecutors, the U.S. Marshals Service opens a clearinghouse near Washington, D.C., for assessing risks. In fiscal 2008, there will be 1,278 threats and harassing communications — more than double the number of six years earlier. Also in 2008, the Department of Justice launches a National Tax Defier Initiative to address the swelling number of cases involving antigovernment tax protesters.
June 8, 2008: Six people with militia ties are arrested in rural Pennsylvania after officials find stockpiles of weapons intended for terrorist attacks on U.S. officials. Bradley T. Kahle, of the Pennsylvania Citizens Militia, allegedly tells authorities that he intended to shoot black people from a rooftop in Pittsburgh and predicts civil war if a democrat becomes president. Kahle's colleague Perry Landis reportedly wanted to kill Gov. Ed Rendell.
August 2008: In the same month that Barack Obama officially becomes the Democratic Party presidential nominee, the National Rifle Association, which in the 1990s publicly attacked federal law enforcement agents as "jackbooted thugs," joins forces with firearms manufacturers to promote NRA membership in a national campaign ominously dubbed "Prepare for the Storm in 2008." In the coming months, authorities will report that guns and especially ammunition are selling far more quickly than usual.
Nov. 4, 2008: Obama is elected president, the first African American to hold that office. Starting just hours after the election is called with the hate-motivated burning of a church with a black congregation in Springfield, Mass., a major spate of hate crimes and racist incidents hit the nation over the next several months in an apparent racist backlash. At one point, young children on a school bus in Idaho are reported chanting "Assassinate Obama."
February 2009: The FBI launches a national operation targeting white supremacists and "militia/sovereign citizen extremist groups" after noting an upsurge in such organizations, with the aim of gathering intelligence about "this emerging threat."
March 2009: Authorities raid a Las Vegas printing firm where meetings of the "Sovereign People's Court for the United States" were conducted in a mock courtroom. The group's seminars reportedly taught how to use phony documents and other illegal means favored by Patriot groups to pay off creditors.
April 7, 2009: The Department of Homeland Security issues a report warning of an increase in right-wing extremism, mirroring independent findings from the Southern Poverty Law Center earlier in the year. Facing a firestorm of criticism from the far right that falsely claims the report tags all conservatives as potential terrorists, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano withdraws what turns out to be a prescient report.
April 15, 2009: One of the leaders of the anti-immigrant Campo Minutemen, Britt "Kingfish" Craig, appears on a Patriot radio program along with guest Lloyd Marcus, the songwriter responsible for the "Tea Party Anthem." Adding further evidence of the ideological cross-pollination of different kinds of right-wing groups, the Campo Minutemen adopt the "Tea Party Anthem" as their fight song.
Mid-April 2009: In an E-mail, Jeff Schwilk links the San Diego Minutemen's resistance to "the invasion from Mexico" with the greater cause of thwarting the "socialist takeover" of America. He also sets up the SoCal Patriots, which includes Minutemen, tax-protest groups, pro-gun rights groups and two anti-immigration outfits the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as hate groups.
April 19, 2009: The Oath Keepers, a "Patriot" group made up of active-duty members of law enforcement and the military, holds its first muster in Lexington, Mass., site of the opening shots of the Revolutionary War. Vowing to fulfill the oaths to the Constitution that they swore, Oath Keepers lists 10 orders its members won't obey, including two that reference U.S. concentration camps — a reflection of the group's conspiracist ideas about a supposedly imminent globalist takeover.
April 25, 2009: Joshua Cartwright, a Florida National Guardsman reportedly interested in joining a militia and angry over Barack Obama's election, shoots to death two Okaloosa County, Fla., sheriff's deputies at a gun range. After fleeing the scene, Cartwright is fatally shot during a gun battle.
May 21-22, 2009: Some 30 "freedom keepers" meet in Jekyll Island, Ga., in a gathering that helps launch an explosive resurgence of the antigovernment Patriot movement. Convened by IRS and Fed-hater Bob Schulz, the conclave warns of "increasing national instability" and a coming "New World Order."
Late May 2009: During a Minuteman rally in Cochise County, Ariz., hundreds of nativists sign a sovereign-citizen "criminal complaint petition" demanding that Obama be tried for treason before an "American Grand Jury." Joining a dozen Minuteman organizations are members of the Arizona Citizens Militia.
Aug. 15, 2009: The Southern Poverty Law Center issues a special report, "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias," which shows that almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, the Patriot movement is back.
Aug. 17, 2009: Radio host Ernest Hancock, accompanied by a member of the Patriot group We the People who is carrying a semiautomatic rifle, stages a videotaped interview outside a venue where Obama is speaking in Phoenix. Hancock had supported Arizona's Viper Team, whose members stockpiled weapons and bombmaking equipment in the 1990s, arguing that they were unfairly convicted.
Sept. 29, 2009: The Patriots Coalition, a new Patriot group founded by the former vice president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and whose website is loaded with "birther" conspiracy theory materials and jokes about assassinating President Obama, carries out its first border vigilante operation targeting Latino immigrants. The group's founder says they are part of the Tea Party tax protest movement.
Nov. 11-22, 2009: More than 100 delegates from 48 states travel to St. Charles, Ill., to attend an 11-day "continental congress" hosted by Bob Schulz's We the People. Planned at the earlier Jekyll Island meeting, the event is named after the gathering that was the first step toward the American Revolution.
January 2010: Missouri police seize a huge arms cache from Lowell Aughenbaugh, an "extreme survivalist," and charge him with threatening to blow up Rolla's police department. Also in Missouri, Richard Cobley is arrested for making "improvised explosive devices" that he allegedly hid in a room in his basement. Cobley allegedly had booby traps ready to stop the government from coming after him.
Feb. 6, 2010: One-time GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tells the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville "America is ready for another revolution."
Feb. 18, 2010: Joseph Andrew Stack flies his airplane into an IRS office building in Austin, Texas, killing himself and one IRS worker. In a manifesto written shortly before his death, Stack rails at the IRS and the federal government.
Feb. 18-20, 2010: The Conservative Political Action Conference is co-sponsored by antigovernment "Patriot" groups including the John Birch Society, which believes President Eisenhower was a communist agent, and the Oath Keepers, a Patriot outfit that suggests in thinly veiled language that the government has secret plans to declare martial law and intern Americans in concentration camps.
March 2010: A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds that 56% of Americans believe the federal government is "so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens." In 1995, just days after the Oklahoma City bombing, a USA Today poll found that 39% of Americans then agreed with the same statement.
March 2, 2010: The Southern Poverty Law Center releases its "Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism" report. The study reports that an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) the year before to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump.
March 19, 2010: Mike Vanderboegh, a one-time 1990s Alabama militiaman and a leader of the recently formed Patriot group Three Percenters, calls on followers to protest health care reform by breaking the windows of local Democratic Party offices. In the following days, Democratic offices across the country report their windows smashed.
March 29, 2010: Nine members of the Hutaree Militia are indicted in an alleged plot to murder a law enforcement officer in Michigan and then attack hundreds of others expected to gather for the victim's funeral with bombs and missiles. The group allegedly expected to set off an insurrection.
April 6, 2010: Daniel Petersen, a former member of the Montana Freemen, becomes the first person to be sentenced under a 2008 federal law that makes it a felony to retaliate against a government official by filing unjustified property liens. The liens are a favorite tactic of Patriots and are often referred to as "paper terrorism."
April 7, 2010: Brody James Whitaker is arrested for allegedly shooting at two Florida state troopers. Whitaker declares during his arraignment, "I am a sovereign" and "I am not an American citizen."
April 19, 2010: Antigovernment Patriot groups, including the Oath Keepers, plan to play prominent roles at a Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast, and Richard Mack, a former sheriff and militia hero.