There is empirical and anecdotal evidence that far-right hate groups pose a significant threat to public safety. Far-right extremists commit many violent attacks, and some scholars conclude that far-right extremists, especially groups motivated by religious ideology, are strong candidates to commit future acts using weapons of mass destruction (Gurr & Cole, 2002; Tucker, 2001). Research analyzing data from the Extremist Crime Database has shown that active members of far-right extremist groups have been involved in over 330 homicide incidents in the last 20 years (Freilich, Chermak, Belli, Grunewald & Parkin; Gruenewald, 2011). Similarly, a national survey of State law enforcement agencies concluded that there was significant concern about the activities of far-right extremist groups, and that more states reported the presence of far-right militia groups (92%), neo-Nazis (89%), and racist skinheads (89%) in their jurisdictions than Jihadi extremist groups (65%) (Freilich, Chermak & Simone, 2009). Despite these important concerns, few projects have empirically studied far-right hate groups in the United States. This study aims to address this research gap by exploring the factors that distinguish violent far-right hate groups from non-violent far-right hate groups.
Chermak, Steven M., and Joshua D. Freilich, Michael Suttmoeller. “The Organizational Dynamics of Far-Right Hate Groups in the United States: Comparing Violent to Non-Violent Organizations,” Final Report to START. College Park MD: START, December 2011. https://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/local_attachments/944_OPSR_TEVUS_Comparing-Violent-Nonviolent-Far-Right-Hate-Groups_Dec2011-508.pdf