Research resources on Militia Groups
Militia Groups & Militia Movement
The militant arm of the Patriot Movement. Organized, armed groups that claim to defend the U.S. Constitution (from real or perceived enemies). The FBI distinguishes Constitutional militias and hate groups:
Federal agents and militia members say the outreach program helps distinguish true Constitutional militia members from hate groups and changes the public perception that militias are "anti-government." "Christian Identity groups, Ku Klux Klan, Nazi groups, they claim to be a militia. The media gets a hold of it, and that group is a militia," Smith said. "Once you break the law, you are no longer militia. We don't want Americans killing Americans."
In a report to the FBI (www.fbi.gov), ''Militias: Initiating Contact,'' James E. Duffy and Alan C. Brantley, M.A. describe the typical militia members.
(...) They write: ''Most militia organization members are white males who range in age from the early 20s to the mid-50s. The majority of militia members appear to be attracted to the movement because of gun control issues... Many militia members believe that these legislative initiatives represent a government conspiracy to disarm the populace and ultimately abolish the Second Amendment to the Constitution... Militia members generally maintain strong Christian beliefs and justify their actions by claiming to be ardent defenders of the Constitution. They often compare the American Colonial period (1607-1783) to their present existence by relating significant Colonial dates and events to lend historical weight to their own beliefs and actions. Many militias claim to represent the ideological legacy of the founding fathers tracing their core beliefs to select writings and speeches that predate the Revolutionary War.''
FBI Director Louis Freeh said in a 1999 report that the United Nations, in particular, is the focus of ire for many militias. ''(The UN) is perceived as an organization bent on taking over the world and destroying American democracy and establishing 'the New World Order.' The New World Order theory holds that, one day, the United Nations will lead a military coup against the nations of the world to form a one-world government. United Nations troops, consisting of foreign armies, will commence a military takeover of America. The United Nations will mainly use foreign troops on American soil because foreigners will have fewer reservations about killing American citizens. Captured United States military bases will be used to help conquer the rest of the world.''
Some militias go beyond a distrust of the UN and anxiety over gun control issues, the FBI said.
FBI director Freeh explained in a statement to Congress in 1999: ''Most of the militia movement has no racial overtones and does not espouse bigotry; there are some black and Jewish militia members. However, the pseudo-religion of Christian Identity, as well as other hate philosophies, have begun to creep into the militia movement... Christian Identity is a belief system that provides both a religious base for racism and anti-Semitism, and an ideological rationale for violence against minorities. This pattern of racist elements seeping into the militia movement is a disturbing trend, as it will only strengthen the radical elements of the militias.''
The militia lurking in your backyard, The Thomaston Express, Dec. 21, 2000
ArticlesMilitias: Initiating Contact FBI report: ''Proactive dialogue with certain types of militia groups may help law enforcement agencies diffuse tensions and avert potential flash points.''
BooksAmerican Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists & Others John George
Extremist movements aren't new, but the tragic events in Oklahoma City, New York City, and elsewhere have awakened Americans to this frightening reality within our borders.American Militias: Rebellion, Racism & Religion Richard Abanes
In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest By David A. Neiwert
Rather than simply demonizing or directing outrage at self-proclaimed "Patriot" and militia organizations -- which is often the approach of those who oppose them -- David Neiwert allows Patriot extremists to speak for themselves and largely on their own terms. His critical journalistic dialogue, placed in the context of the Northwest's regional milieu, allows us to better understand the socioeconomic and philosophical/religious complexities of how and why these otherwise ordinary citizens have come to think the way they do.The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right Daniel Levitas
With so much attention focused on international terrorism, this book hits closer to home with an eye-opening look at potential domestic terrorist threats. Levitas explores the historic roots of Far Right hate groups in the U.S., how they have developed and evolved, and how the government has responded or failed to respond to this potent threat from within.
CommentaryThe Government and the Militia Movement New York Times Blog, Mar. 30, 2010
The F.B.I.’s raids against members of a Michigan-based Christian militia over the weekend added to concerns about rising far-right activity across the country.
News & News ArchivesMiltia Groups news tracker at Religion News Blog
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(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)