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March 2, 2016 1

While Vying For Attention, Small California Klan Encounters Conflict

The Loyal White Knights (LWK) had every inten­tion of hold­ing a “White Lives Do Mat­ter” protest on Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 27, 2016, at Pear­son Park in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia. But before the event could kick off, a bloody brawl erupted between Klan sup­port­ers and counter-protesters.

Klans­men, barely able to exit their cars, were sud­denly swarmed by counter-protesters who wres­tled Bill Hagan, the Cal­i­for­nia LWK’s Grand Dragon, to the ground. Other Klan mem­bers were sim­i­larly attacked, and as the chaos con­tin­ued, Klan mem­bers stabbed three counter-protesters, appar­ently with the tip of a flag pole, leav­ing one crit­i­cally wounded.

Six Klans­men were arrested, but they were released on Feb­ru­ary 29, after law enforce­ment deter­mined they were act­ing in self-defense. Seven anti-Klan-protesters were booked by the Ana­heim Police Depart­ment on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and for elder abuse (after stomp­ing on a senior Klan member).

(At any poten­tially inflam­ma­tory protest, sep­a­rat­ing the pro­test­ers from any counter-demonstrators is crit­i­cal – it pro­tects even the most hate­ful speech while ensur­ing the safety of every­one involved. This sep­a­ra­tion was clearly not achieved – or main­tained – in Anaheim).

Like other Klan groups around the coun­try, the Loyal White Knights say they rep­re­sent the increas­ingly “endan­gered” white pop­u­la­tion, which they claim makes up a mere 9 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. In fact, Klan groups them­selves appear to be the only “endan­gered” entity: The ADL has iden­ti­fied about thirty active Klan groups in the United States, slightly down from the 2014 tally. Most Klan groups range in size from small to very small; chap­ters are often com­prised of a sin­gle local member.

As a feint against their dimin­ish­ing influ­ence, Klan groups con­tinue to use attention-getting stunts to attract pub­lic­ity.  For exam­ple, in 2015 the Inter­na­tional Key­stone Knights made head­lines for appeal­ing an “adopt a high­way” court rul­ing in Geor­gia while the Knights Party drew media atten­tion after spon­sor­ing a pro-white bill­board in Arkansas.

The most com­mon Klan tac­tic, how­ever, con­tin­ues to be the use of fliers to broad­cast their racist, anti-Semitic, homo­pho­bic, and increas­ingly Islam­o­pho­bic mes­sage. In 2015, the ADL counted 85 Klan flier­ing inci­dents, an increase from 73 inci­dents in 2014.  In the last six months, the very small Cal­i­for­nia Loyal White Knights group has caused an out­sized stir in a num­ber of Cal­i­for­nia cities, includ­ing Whit­tier, Santa Ana and Ana­heim, as neigh­bors dis­cov­ered candy and rock-filled bags with pro-Klan mes­sages on their front lawns. As the Anti-Defamation League has pre­vi­ously noted, this leaflet­ing activ­ity is actu­ally a des­per­ate pub­lic­ity tac­tic, and reflects Klan groups’ declin­ing stature and membership.

Today’s Klan groups tend to be irres­olute, short-lived and in a con­stant state of flux.More than half of the cur­rently active Klans were formed just in the last five years. While a few long­stand­ing Klans, still exist, they are mere shad­ows of their for­mer selves. In fact, two promi­nent Klans dis­banded in Late 2015: Mor­ris Gulett’s Louisiana-based Aryan Nations Knights and Ron Edward’s Kentucky-based Impe­r­ial Klans of America.

As befits the groups’ shrink­ing ranks, pub­lic Klan events are increas­ingly rare. There were only two pub­lic Klan events of con­se­quence in 2015.  In July, mem­bers of the Loyal White Knights and the Trin­ity White Knights joined mem­bers of the neo-Nazi Nation­al­ist Social­ist Move­ment in protest­ing the removal of the Con­fed­er­ate flag from the South Car­olina State House.  In March, approx­i­mately 20 Klans­men ral­lied in Mont­gomery, Alabama, at an event hon­or­ing Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.

In the 1920s, accord­ing to some his­tor­i­cal accounts, Anaheim’s Pear­son Park was the site of events that attracted upwards of 20,000 Klan sup­port­ers. This past weekend’s protests and vio­lence involved six Klan sup­port­ers — and while that cer­tainly epit­o­mizes the state of today’s Klan, the group’s his­tor­i­cal bag­gage and unde­ni­able noto­ri­ety means that even one Klan mem­ber has the poten­tial to spark con­sid­er­able pain and upset.

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January 8, 2016 0

No Sign of Slowdown for Islamic Extremism Arrests in the U.S. in 2016

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Janab, arrested January 6

Aws Mohammed You­nis Al-Janab, arrested Jan­u­ary 6

Two U.S. res­i­dents were arrested on Islamic extrem­ism related ter­ror charges in the first week of 2016 and a third allegedly com­mit­ted a shoot­ing on Jan­u­ary 7 on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fol­low­ing record-breaking num­bers of ter­ror related arrests in 2015, these new arrests por­tend sim­i­larly high lev­els of Amer­i­cans engag­ing in plots and other activ­ity moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ist ide­ol­ogy in the com­ing year.

Aws Mohammed You­nis Al-Janab, a res­i­dent of Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia, was arrested on Jan­u­ary 6, 2015. Al-Janab, an Iraqi-born man who had moved to Syria and then come to the U.S. as a refugee from Syria in 2012, is accused of mak­ing false state­ments in a terror-related inves­ti­ga­tion. Al-Janab had orig­i­nally left the U.S. to fight with Ansar al-Islam, a Syr­ian ter­ror­ist group, between 2013 and 2014. Ansar al-Islam had been affil­i­ated with Al Qaeda until August 2014, at which time it merged with ISIS.

Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, a res­i­dent of Hous­ton, Texas, was also arrested on Jan­u­ary 6, 2015. Al Hardan, who entered the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq in 2009 and is cur­rently a U.S. per­ma­nent res­i­dent, is charged with pro­vid­ing mate­r­ial sup­port to a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by attempt­ing to join the ISIS and with lying in his nat­u­ral­iza­tion application.

A third man, iden­ti­fied as Edward Archer of Penn­syl­va­nia, allegedly attempted to kill a law enforce­ment offi­cer in Philadel­phia on behalf of ISIS. There were at least four instances of Islamic extrem­ism inspired vio­lence against law enforce­ment offi­cers in 2015.

The two indi­vid­u­als arrested were Iraqi born men of Pales­tin­ian descent who entered the U.S. as refugees. They report­edly com­mu­ni­cated with each other regard­ing their extrem­ist aspirations.

The vast major­ity of U.S. res­i­dents engaged in ter­ror­ism related to Islamic extrem­ism are U.S. cit­i­zens.  Between 2009 and 2015, refugees accounted for only three per­cent of the U.S. res­i­dents linked to Islamic extremism.

In 2015, only 3 U.S. res­i­dents linked to ter­ror moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ism had entered the U.S. as refugees. One of the three, Harlem Suarez, entered the U.S. as a refugee when he was a child but appears to have con­verted to Islam and rad­i­cal­ized while in the U.S.; Suarez was a U.S. per­ma­nent res­i­dent when he was arrested for attempt­ing to bomb a Florida beach in sup­port of ISIS.

2015 also saw a spike in attempted domes­tic attacks. There were 18 plots dis­cussed in total in 2015, com­pared to 1 in all of 2014.

78 U.S. res­i­dents in total were linked to ter­ror­ist activ­ity moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ism in 2015. A full list of the indi­vid­u­als, as well as exten­sive analy­sis, is avail­able in the ADL report, “2015 Sees Dra­matic Spike in Islamic Extrem­ism Arrests.”

In Octo­ber 2015, FBI Direc­tor James Comey indi­cated that there were 900 open inves­ti­ga­tions of sus­pected home­grown extrem­ists, the major­ity of which are related to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since that time, there have been 12 U.S. res­i­dents linked to ter­ror, at least three of whom (San Bernardino shoot­ers Tafsheen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farooq and Farooq’s friend, Enrique Mar­quez) had not been mon­i­tored by law enforce­ment prior to the San Bernardino attack in Decem­ber 2015.

 

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December 18, 2015 0

ADL Reports at Least 75 Anti-Muslim Incidents In US Since Paris Attacks

Fol­low­ing the shoot­ing in San Bernardino that left 14 peo­ple dead and 22 injured, there has been a con­tin­ued esca­la­tion in hos­til­ity and attacks through­out the U.S. against the Mus­lim com­mu­nity and those per­ceived as Muslim.

Islamic Center of Alameda's boarded up window, after it was shattered by a brick

Islamic Cen­ter of Alameda’s boarded up win­dow, after it was shat­tered by a brick (CBS)

Since the San Bernardino shoot­ing on Decem­ber 2, at least 27 anti-Muslim inci­dents have been reported in the U.S., rais­ing the total num­ber of inci­dents since the Novem­ber 13 Paris attacks to at least 75.Between the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shoot­ing, ADL tracked approx­i­mately 48 anti-Muslim inci­dents. These num­bers are based on reports ADL has col­lected from media and other sources.

Inci­dents such as assaults, van­dal­ism, and threats tar­get­ing Mus­lim indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions in the U.S. tend to notice­ably spike in the after­math of ter­ror­ist attacks linked to Islamic extrem­ists in the U.S or abroad.

Below are selected exam­ples of alleged anti-Muslim inci­dents in the weeks fol­low­ing the San Bernardino attacks, both crim­i­nal and non-criminal:

Assaults

  • Grand Rapids, Michi­gan: Aman hold­ing up a con­ve­nience store report­edly called the Sikh man­ager a “ter­ror­ist” and sug­gested he was a mem­ber of ISIS before shoot­ing him in the face. (Decem­ber 12)
  • Queens, New York: A man beat a Mus­lim store owner in the Asto­ria neigh­bor­hood of Queens. The attacker report­edly stated, “I kill Mus­lims.” (Decem­ber 5)

Van­dal­ism

  • Hawthorne, Cal­i­for­nia: “Jesus” graf­fiti and a fake hand grenade were left at two mosques. (Decem­ber 12)
  • Alameda, Cal­i­for­nia: A brick was thrown through a mosque’s win­dow, shat­ter­ing the win­dow. (Decem­ber 10)
  • Palm Beach, Florida: The Islamic Cen­ter of Palm Beach was van­dal­ized, its win­dows smashed and fur­ni­ture over­turned. (Decem­ber 3)

Threats and Intimidation

  • Cull­man, Alabama: KKK fliers try to recruit Alaba­mans to stop “the spread of Islam.” (Decem­ber 10)
  • Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia: A sev­ered pig’s head was thrown at a mosque’s door. (Decem­ber 7)
  • Van­dalia, Ohio: A 7th grader threat­ened to shoot and kill a 6th grade Mus­lim school­mate, report­edly call­ing him a “ter­ror­ist,” a “towel head,” and a “son of ISIS.” (Decem­ber 7)
  • St. Louis, Mis­souri: A threat­en­ing voice­mail was left at the Islamic Cen­ter of St. Louis. The mes­sage report­edly stated “I was a Marine, I killed a lot of Mus­lims, watched a lot of you die and burn…You want to kill? Come my way. I will cut your f-cking head off.” (Decem­ber 5)
  • Fred­er­icks­burg, Vir­ginia: In advance of a pub­lic hear­ing about a new mosque, anti-Muslim fliers were posted around town that read “No Jihad in Fred­er­icks­burg.” (Decem­ber 5)

 

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