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[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."]
The Southern Poverty Law Center
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.
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