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Extremism Headlines: Arrest over Antisemitic threats, antigovernment Oregon politicians

Every week, we highlight stories on extremism and the radical right from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. Here are stories that caught our attention through May 31.

ADF's favored judges

  • Thirteen federal judges - some of whom have shown support for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) considers an anti-LGBTQ hate group, have announced a boycott of law clerks from Columbia University, Hatewatch reported Wednesday.
  • The judges demanded Columbia identify students involved in campus protests, according to a letter they signed. They accused Columbia of a double standard in its treatment of pro-Palestinian protesters compared to hypothetical religious conservative demonstrators.
  • This action follows allegations of ADF judge-shopping in Texas, where more than half of the boycotting judges preside. The Department of Justice raised the allegations about right-wing and far-right groups forum shopping for these judges, particularly in cases involving the ADF and reproductive health care. 
  • Hatewatch has previously reported on an academic journal retracting a study ADF cited in a court challenge an abortion medication.

California man arrested for antisemitic threats against North Carolinians 

  • Authorities arrested a 62-year-old man from Huntington Beach, California, on federal charges for allegedly sending violent threats to individuals and synagogues in North Carolina, the Justice Department announced on May 24. The Justice Department accused Kevin Dunlow of making bomb threats against the Wake County Sheriff's Office and threatening to kill Jewish community members, including children, according to their press release.
  • Dunlow faces charges of illegally using any form of communication to send a threat to harm or kidnap another person intentionally and illegally knowingly making false reports about bombs. If convicted, Dunlow faces five years in prison for each charge. 
  • Hatewatch has recently analyzed antisemitic tropes right-wing actors have used in mainstream discourse.

Antigovernment figure Ammon Bundy's organization gets into Oregon politics

  • In Oregon, 66 members of an antigovernment group have sought local elected office, The Guardian reported on May 24. These individuals, linked to the People’s Rights Network (PRN) and its Oregon chapter, PRO5, ran for Republican precinct committee person roles, often unopposed. 
  • Though the results of all 66 members remains unclear, their successes could reshape the party's county-level leadership. This effort aligns with a far-right tactic known as "entryism," aiming to shift mainstream political entities, The Guardian explained. Evidence of their affiliation and coordinated efforts emerged from intercepted radio communications discussing various activities, including anti-vaccine protests, the report said. 
  • These findings underscore concerns about the potential reach of antigovernment sentiments among politicians, reflecting tactics promoted by prominent conservative figures. 
  • Hatewatch has previously reported on a $50 million judgement in a defamation suit against Bundy and PRN.

Further U.S. influence on anti-LGBTQ movement in Uganda

  • The Guardian published another story on Thursday about the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), a U.S. anti-pornography group, that has ties with anti-LGBTQ+ activists and politicians in Uganda.
  • These Ugandan activists and politicians include those who endorsed harsh anti-LGBTQ laws. The group’s efforts in Uganda have been ongoing for at least a decade, with spin-off organizations advising government leaders, according to the report.
  • NCOSE’s affiliations include the Boys’ Mentorship Program, which runs a "militaristic" Christian boys camp, and Exodus Cry, a Christian right organization. The organization has admitted to past anti-LGBTQ remarks but asserts a commitment to serve and respect all persons, including the LGBTQ community.
  • The article discusses the activities of Family Watch International, an SPLC-designated hate group, across Africa. Hatewatch has previously reported on FWI's connections to high-level politicians in Uganda.

Read last week's edition here: Extremism Headlines: Conservative Catholic LGBTQ policy, Pelosi attacker resentenced, German far right trial begins

Above photo: Ammon Bundy takes questions from the public on January 26, 2022, in Shelley, Idaho. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

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