June 10th, 2009
10:35 PM ET

Going undercover inside America's most dangerous hate group

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the shooting and about hate groups in the United States on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/10/museum.shooting/art.museum.cnn.jpg caption="Police cars mass outside the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington after a shooting there on Wednesday."]

Sonia Scherr
The Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report

"White power!"

Nearly 200 racist skinheads, white-robed Klansmen, and other white supremacists chanted racist slogans as they marched through downtown Montgomery, Ala., on a sunny Saturday in March 1991. As they passed the headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mark Carpenter — the leader of a new hate group called the White Reich — yelled out, "[SPLC co-founder] Morris Dees is a racist Jew and a queer!"

He sounded like a bigot brimming with hatred. But Carpenter had a secret. His true identity was Special Agent Bart McEntire of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. For months, he'd been preparing to go undercover to investigate the skinhead underworld in Birmingham, Ala., which at the time was among the most active and violent in the country. To establish his credentials, McEntire had asked an ATF informant to drop his cover identity's name in white supremacist circles. He'd scoured newspaper articles for details about unsolved robberies and bombings he could claim to have committed. And he'd arranged for the Lexington County Sheriff's Department in South Carolina, where he'd begun his law enforcement career, to conjure a record showing that Mark Carpenter had been arrested for illegally possessing explosives.


soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Patricia Cyrus

    Hi Anderson,
    I would like to extend my prayers to the family of the slain security guard. that God will strenghen his family through this difficult time. He was truly an American hero. I commend all the security guards at the Holocaustt Museum for their quick actions which saved innocent people from harm. Anderson, the day before this horible incident a group of us were discussing the Republican event which took placed Monday night, We felt that the type of language being used was extremely dangerous and inviting for groups who feed on this type of negatiism. Calling our leader a ":false prophet" is anti-American and hate group who feed on this sort of stuff will seize the moment. Did not the GOP learn anything from the tactics used by John McCain and Sarah Palin? They lead the people to believe that Obama was a" terrorist." It was all politically motivated just like the meeting on Monday of this week. People started chanted "kill him". They had to change their tactics. But the damage was done they loss votes especially with the Independent voters. I also believe they loss some people respect. What is fueling all this hate. I believe it is because we have a President who is talking peace. We know Anderson unfortunately, there are still hate groups(White, Black, Latino, Asian, etc,) out there who are just looking for a spark from any source to get the flames soring high again. GOP please be careful with the tone of your language. What is it inviting.? Support for the Republican party or inciting anti-American and Racist groups to do horrible acts aganist our country. Anderson, What are your thoughts on this issue?
    Patricia Cyrus,
    Concern American citizen

    June 11, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  2. Terry, TX

    "Going undercover inside America’s most dangerous hate group"....I thought it was Muslim Islamic Terrorists cells...who were the most dangerous hate group. This story is from the Southern Poverty Law Center....the Black equivalent to the ACLU...except I do believe they are wealthier....you have got to be kidding.
    I can't believe you print anything from them...you might as well be quoting from KKK articles....they may be polar opposites....but they are the same radicals.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  3. Geoff

    i think all white people are part of white supremacist groups. Many may not attend the meetings but because you (white people) know they are out there and destructive, you stand by and do nothing to eradicate these groups. Legally you acknowledge their right to exist but more effort goes into saving endangered animals than stopping these people from spewing their hate messages.

    June 11, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  4. Jeff

    The Holocaust Museum shooting has had breaking news coverage for more than a day now. I believe it is getting such coverage because it puts the holocaust front and center just before the elections in Iran. I have no problem with trying to influence the election just be honest about it. "88 year old racist makes last stand at museum would normally be an hour of coverage once all the facts came out."

    June 11, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  5. Als

    This man will go down in history as a idiot. The man who died and saved lives will die with honor. Hating someone because of color and faith is a coward. News flash most people in America is mixed includind the so called white crazy people. Today you cant tell whos white and black in this country. Some people out their are living white and are half black. Pres Obama is an example of the new America. Mixed people are in his family and mine.

    June 11, 2009 at 6:03 am |

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