Historian of terrorism worried about rise in militia groups

Historians in the News

As the last suspect in a plot to kill police was arraigned in court Tuesday, some experts say the number of militia groups has grown.

Joshua Stone, 21, will be held without bond until a hearing Wednesday. He peacefully surrendered Tuesday night in Michigan.

Authorities say the group plotted to kill police in hopes of touching off an uprising....

"It doesn't take a lot of fringe elements in a country this size to do an enormous amount of damage," said Tom Mockaitis, professor of history and terrorism expert, DePaul University.

Mockaitis and others say that the number of militia groups nationwide has grown.

While all do not all have identical ideologies, there generally are some common threads - distrust of a federal government seen as too powerful, anger over taxes and a poor economy and, in many cases, Mockaitis suggests a racial component - resistance to an African American in the White House.

"What worries me is not the lunatic fringe. It's the larger core of soft support in which these fish can swim, and say they draw energy from this larger pool of anger," said Mockaitis....
Read entire article at ABC News

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John D. Beatty - 3/31/2010

How many of these "militia groups" have less than a handful of members?

How many participants claim membership in multiple groups?

Does anyone make a correlation between the rise of "militias" and general dissatisfaction with the supposed "leadership" of the one-party-two-factions system that is supposed to protect voter interests?

How long will it be before someone comes up with some real answers to the questions above?

Joe Potts - 3/31/2010

The idea that the fear of the government is somehow irrational fails to follow the lessons of history. The militias are active during the times of government oppression of civil liberties. No genocide in over a century has been perpetrated by a government that did not first force civilian disarmament. Millions of people have died due to governments that need subjects not citizens. The USA is unique in that we are the only nation whose founding documents protect the citizens from the government, not the opposite. No historian should forget that the government killed over one hundred men, women, and children for the supposed non payment of a two hundred dollar tax on a firearm, a government claim never proven. To equate a legitimate fear of governmental oppression, given the recent events, to terrorism is a failure to understand the most basic lesson of history.