April 2nd, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Judge orders Michigan militia members held in jail

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/03/31/michigan.militia.hutaree/story.militia.leader.gi.jpg caption="David Brian Stone Sr., alleged leader of the Hutaree militia." width=300 height=169]


A federal magistrate ordered Friday that eight people accused of plotting to kill police officers as part of a revolt against the U.S. government be held in jail pending their trial.

Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer said he was entering orders of detention for the members of the Michigan-based Hutaree militia.
He said the nature and circumstances of the charges led to his decision.

James Thomas, a lawyer for one of those charged, said that he would appeal the decision. Thomas said that the lawyers for at least three other defendants also will appeal the order.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gun Violence • Hate Crime
April 2nd, 2010
04:36 PM ET

Interactive Map: The rise of militia movements by state

The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 932 active hate groups in the United States in 2009. Learn more about them here, on a state-by-state map.

Southern Poverty Law Center

Filed under: Hate Crime
March 29th, 2010
04:51 PM ET

Rage on the right: The year in hate and extremism

Tea party groups are 'shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism', says Potok.

Program Note: Don't miss Anderson's interview with Mark Potok tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Mark Potok
Southern Poverty Law Center

The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called "Patriot" groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.


Filed under: Hate Crime • Republicans
June 12th, 2009
05:52 PM ET

'How do we reconcile this?'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/11/museum.shooting.guard/art.johns.jpg caption="Security officer Stephen Johns reportedly opened the door for the man police say was his killer."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/10/dc.museum.shooting.suspect/art.james.von.brunn.mug.jpg caption="James W. von Brunn is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. His online biography says he served in World War II."]

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

If anything positive can come from the tragic shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, it is to shine a light on the creatures who occupy a dark corner of American discourse.

I’ll resist a temptation to compare them with a particular species of insect, but the dictionary on my desk uses the phrase “destructive, annoying or injurious to health” to describe their ilk.

These are people whose lives are consumed by hate for “the other.” They may use a bullhorn in the public square, their free speech rights often protected by police, or the keyboard of a computer at home, sometimes hiding behind a pseudonym.

In the case of Wednesday’s tragedy in the nation’s capital, the alleged shooter – based on the venom on his website – held Jews and blacks in particular contempt. The unfortunate irony is that the security guard killed protecting visitors to a museum recalling the greatest horror inflicted upon the Jewish people was African-American.


June 12th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

'I lived with the white supremacist accused of murder'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/11/museum.shooting.suspect.two/art.grab.website.jpg caption="Writings attributed to James von Brunn and a biography appear on the Web site Holy Western Empire."]

Alexandra Poolos and Alyssa Caplan

Scott Aulbach flipped on the news when he finally got back to his Atlanta hotel room after a long day of training for his company. And suddenly he saw splashed across CNN a picture of his former roommate, James von Brunn. He was horrified to hear police reports that von Brunn was the man who walked into the Holocaust Museum in Washington with a rifle, and shot police officer Stephen Jones before being shot and apprehended by other officers.

Horrified. But not completely surprised.

"I heard something about a shooting at the Holocaust [museum] and the next thing I seen is his picture. I knew it was him."

Aulbach says von Brunn was his roommate for about six months in 2004. Aulbach had already been living with his friend Eric von Brunn, James von Brunn's son. Aulbach says neither he nor Eric von Brunn were white supremacists. In fact, Aulbach says Eric and his mother - divorced from James von Brunn - are wonderful people. But they heard plenty of supremacist rants from Eric's father.

Below are notes from our conversations with Aulbach in preparation for his interview with Anderson. AC360° producer David Puente also contributed to these questions. This evening, we will hear from Scott again as we take a special look at hate in America in our one-hour special, American Radical: The Lone Wolf, on AC360° at 10p ET. Please join us.


June 12th, 2009
11:14 AM ET

Witness to history and horror

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/11/museum.shooting.reaction/art.museum.scene.cnn.jpg caption="The scene, Wednesday, outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum."]

Editor's note: Deborah E. Lipstadt is currently Resnick Invitational Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.

Deborah E. Lipstadt
Special to CNN

I write this from my office in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where I have been privileged to have had a fellowship for the past semester. Up until Wednesday at 12:50 p.m., it had been a perfect visit. Everything a scholar could hope for: exceptional scholarly resources and a magnificent museum staff.

When I arrive each morning, long before the doors open to the public, I always marvel at the people waiting to enter. They represent every religion, ethnic group, and nationality. In the past few weeks I've seen hundreds of school groups as well as Annapolis midshipmen, scouts, FBI trainees and police force members.

They come to learn about the consequences of hate and prejudice. And Wednesday the entire world was given a graphic reminder of what that hatred can produce when a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Holocaust denier, entered the building and allegedly shot a guard before being wounded himself.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360º Follow • Hate Crime
June 12th, 2009
08:05 AM ET
June 11th, 2009
08:13 PM ET

At the aftermath of the Holocaust museum shootout

Inside the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Producer

We came in the same way hundreds of tourists escaped Wednesday afternoon's shootout. The "back" door of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The security officers were on duty. Still professional, helpful, kind. But not happy, not upbeat. Not after one of their own gave his life protecting the museum's visitors.

The Museum gave CNN exclusive access to the building Thursday, the first news crew inside since the shooting.

The first sign that there'd been trouble. A worker was sweeping up trash left behind yesterday... a single brown flip lay on the floor in the midst of torn papers and dust. It appeared during the rush to safety someone lost a shoe and didn't try to go back and get it.

We noticed almost none of the security officers were wearing body armor. Of the dozen or so officers on duty only one was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. We asked if that was a concern, he said "Everyone will have one soon." He didn't elaborate.

And the officers each had a black piece of tape stretched across their badge. It's a time-honored tradition when people in law enforcement lose a colleague. A tradition too often repeated in America.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Hate Crime
June 11th, 2009
06:47 PM ET
June 11th, 2009
06:15 PM ET

The new white nationalism

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/10/dc.museum.shooting.suspect/art.museum.cnn.jpg caption="Police cars mass outside the Holocaust Museum in Washington after a shooting there on Wednesday."]
Editor's Note: Professor Carol Swain will join Anderson tonight to discuss the rise in what she calls the "new white nationalism." Below is an excerpt from her 2002 book entitled "The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration." Tune in to AC360° tonight at 10p ET for more on yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the 88-year-old white supremacist who is the alleged shooter.

Carol Swain
From her book "The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration"

Over the past ten years a new white racial advocacy movement has gained strength in the United States that poses a severe challenge to the ideals of an integrated society. Many of the leaders of this new movement, which is called “white nationalism” here, are very different from the sorts of people we have come to associate with the traditional racist right in America. Cultured, intelligent, and often possessing impressive degrees from some of America’s premier colleges and universities, this new breed of white racial advocate is a far cry from the populist politicians and hooded Klansmen of the Old South who fought the losing battles for segregation and white supremacy during the great civil rights upheavals of a generation ago. The new white nationalists differ even more from the small bands of misfits and psychopaths who formed the heart of the ineffectual neo-Nazi movement of that era. While sharing much in common with the older style of white racist and white supremacy movement, and drawing upon important white supremacist beliefs, the new white nationalism is potentially broader in its appeal and a development sufficiently different from the older racist right to be considered a distinct phenomenon. The new white nationalism, in this sense, might be considered a kind of repackaged, relabeled and transformed white supremacy that is aiming its appeal at a broader and better-educated audience.

Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Hate Crime
« older posts