FBI expects Y2K, hate crime link

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FBI expects Y2K, hate crime link


Foster's Daily Democrat Staff Writer

DOVER  An emerging question after the extremist shootings in Los Angeles is whether violence and hate crimes by end-of-the-world fanatics will escalate as the millennium draws near.

Like a full moon, will the millennium bring out the crazies? Are authorities bracing themselves for doomsday believers hell-bent on Armageddon?

"Its certainly something thats in our mind," said Bill Carter, spokesman for FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., of Y2K spurring hate group activity. But, "Do we monitor hate groups? No."

There is nothing concrete to suggest that the remaining four months of 1999 will be plagued by extremists, Carter noted. However, a quick surf on the Internet shows that a number of extremists are focusing on the millennium as a point of change, destruction, or renewal.

The FBI 30 years ago was criticized for intrusive investigations of suspects, and Attorney General Janet Reno noted this week that the bureaus reach is more limited in order to better protect constitutional rights.

While protecting personal rights is fine, the government needs to crack down on those perpetrating hate crimes, according to two New Hampshire rights experts.

"There clearly is a network" or conspiracy among some groups, said Raymond Perry, the former 11-year director of the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission.

"Its a little scary. It seems like its escalating," said Perry, now an attorney in discrimination law for the law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green. "New Hampshire is by no means immune to this phenomenon."

Whether the millennium will spur some groups to act out their own twisted prophecies of violence "is a good philosophical question for society to ask itself," said Claire Ebel, head of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

While adamant that civil rights must not be trampled, she said the government is obligated to learn about extremist or fringe groups.

Hate groups should be confronted at every angle with free speech, according to Ebel. "The government has no business spying on its own citizens ... even if those groups are motivated by hate," she said.

Perry said law enforcement must get tougher on extreme groups while balancing individuals civil rights.

Carter noted that the Attorney Generals guidelines hold that the FBI cant investigate a group or individual unless they commit an act of violence, or conspire to commit an act of violence. While the FBI has handled a number of cases and incidents involving hate groups, the groups have constitutional rights to meet and speak their minds, he said.

Perry is concerned that hate crimes are increasing across America, and that crimes are becoming more violent. The trend has gone from simple vandalism and racial epithets to more serious actions like assaults and shootings, he noted.

And while state and federal authorities are supposed to track hate crimes, Perry believes a number of them go unreported. For example, a case of graffiti with neo-Nazi curses is sometimes just referred to as vandalism.

Ebel said she was unaware of any resurgent group activity or rise in hate crimes in the Granite State.

As we approach the millennium, she is more concerned about possible infringements on civil liberties than increase activity on behalf of hate groups. Case in point is the greater security measures and codes at public schools, she noted. Safety, she said, is of the utmost importance, but society doesnt have to sacrifice personal rights in the process.

Still, the shootings last Tuesday at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles served as an alarm for President Clinton, who questioned the need for tougher law enforcement and better gun control.

The specter of increasing violence was reflected in the words of the alleged gunman, Buford ONeal Furrow, who told police his rampage was "a wake-up call to America to kill Jews."

Furrow, who had ties to the Aryan Nations white supremacist group, could be the poster boy for extremists convinced that a new world order is at hand, a period known in the Bible as "Judgment Day."

While the millennium approaches, hate crimes in general are on the rise nationwide. New Hampshire and Maine, experts say, are just as susceptible as California to the apocalyptic whims of a growing subculture of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and others.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil liberties group that tracks hate groups, a number of groups like Aryan Nations will continue to be very dangerous and violent. The center, which keeps state-by-state tabs on group activity, reports that there are no Aryan Nations chapters in the Northeast. The area, however, does have chapters of other groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan.

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented 474 hate groups in 1997, stating a case that these groups have greater influence nationwide and internationally via the Internet.

Of the 474 groups counted, 127 were Klan organizations and their chapters; 100 were neo-Nazi; 42 were Skinhead; 81 were Christian Identity, a racist religion; 12 were black separatist; and 112 followed a hodgepodge of hate-based doctrines and ideologies.

According to the FBIs 1997 hate crime statistics released in January, there were 8,049 bias-motivated criminal incidents reported to the FBI by 11,211 law enforcement agencies. Of that number, 4,710 were motivated by racial bias; 1,385 by religious bias; 1,102 by sexual-orientation bias; 836 by ethnicity bias; 12 by disability bias; and four by multiple biases.

Crimes against persons composed 70 percent of the 9,861 offenses reported. Intimidation was the single most frequently reported hate crime for 39 percent of the total. Destruction or vandalism of property accounted for 26 percent of the total, followed by simple assault at 18 percent and aggravated assault at 13 percent.

Eight persons were murdered in 1997 in incidents motivated by hate. Racial bias motivated five of the murders, and sexual-orientation bias the remaining three. ) 1999 Geo. J. Foster Co.

-- (my@oh.my), August 16, 1999


I can't imagine any form of gun control limiting *these* individuals from obtaining weapons. Not even confiscation. The alarming number of sick groups involving themselves in this type of activity, is all the more reason to arm ourselves and be able to defend our families and fellow law-abiding citizens!

I have yet to hear any public statement coming from these various crimes that would connect their activity to Y2K. The connection always seems to come from various gov agencies and spokespersons and the media. It goes without saying there will be those who wish to take advantage of any potential disruptions resulting from failed systems, but that would apply to our current administration in government as well, IMHO.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 16, 1999.

"An emerging question after the extremist shootings in Los Angeles is whether violence and hate crimes by end-of-the-world fanatics will escalate as the millennium draws near.

So, how about it Tinfoils? How many of you should the country be afraid of? How many of you might contemplate "helping things along"?

"People who want to survive Y2K should be prepared to kill."

-- (its@coming.soon), July 27, 1999.

"Another Polly is dead. Good riddance. The rest will follow shortly anyway when TSHTF.

n (its@coming.soon), August 15, 1999.

"I think that there will be untold millions dead in the US alone."

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), July 15, 1999

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), August 16, 1999.


It's nice to make assumtions and accusations based on a few off color quotes. Your intellect is showing.

-- CygnusXI (noburnt@toast.net), August 16, 1999.

A crime is a crime. There are already laws on the books that address Them. This is more liberal spin. Turns out that hate crimes are a tiny fraction of all violent crime. A rose by any other name....

-- citizen (lost@sea.com), August 16, 1999.

y2k Amateur,

Still sticking with that 1.0 rating for y2k??? I would imagine that you are currently reconsidering your less than BITR scenario.

It's almot time for you to disappear from the scene like your other cronies are currently in the process of doing.

When you do decide bail out be sure to let us know so we can give you the proper send off!!

Your Pal, Ray

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), August 16, 1999.

Actually Pal I am considering revising my prediction. Seems I have overestimated the havoc Y2K will wreck at a one. I now don't think it will even make a one...

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), August 16, 1999.

HATE CRIME.....as opposed to LOVE CRIME..

Killing because you love somebody...NOT.

Your DEAD either way. This is not a crime bill, it's thought police. If I'm a raving lunatic (and maybe I am?) who kills someone because they had horrendous breath, is THAT worse than any other so-called reason?!?. NO, there is NO reason other than self defense to kill ANYONE. To say, "You were thinking _____ therfore your more of a threat than Mr. XXXX who was thinking ______" is just plain WRONG. If anyone fails to see that...The programming is now complete, you may now graze.

-- CygnusXI (noburnt@toast.net), August 16, 1999.

Did ya catch the part about the FBI NOT monitoring "Hate groups??"

What are ALL the FBI plants and informants doing, then???

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@It's ALL going away in January.com), August 16, 1999.

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