The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.
Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he's seen in more than a decade.
"All it's lacking is a spark," McEntire said in the report.
It's reminiscent of what was seen in the 1990s ? right-wing militias, people ideologically against paying taxes and so-called "sovereign citizens" are popping up in large numbers, according to the report to be released Wednesday. The SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights group that, among other activities, investigates hate groups.
Last October, someone from the Ohio Militia posted a recruiting video on YouTube, billed as a "wake-up call" for America. It's been viewed more than 60,000 times.
"Things are bad, things are real bad, and it's going to be a lot worse," said the man on the video, who did not give his name. "Our country is in peril."
The man is holding an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, and he encourages viewers to buy one.
By: Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.