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Synopsis

Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this study examines the militia movement and the threat posed to American national security.

Beginning in the 1990s and continuing into the 21st century, the increase in domestic terrorism has been linked to the rise in the anti-government sentiment, specifically caused by the rise of the private militia movement. While the majority of militias operating within the United States are non-violent, there are a small percentage of members, the radical fringe, who commit acts of violence to advance their ideological goals. The radical fringe frequently takes extreme measures against federal authority, taxation, race relations, and abortion, and they are fanatical believers of individual rights, and conservative interpretation of the bible.

Militia groups gained widespread attention from the Oklahoma City (OKC) bombing in 1995, and even though they were not members of a militia, it was the actions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols that focused the American public's attention on the potential threat of private militias. Currently, the FBI classifies militia groups within four categories, ranging from moderate groups that do not engage in criminal activity to radical cells, which commit violent acts of terrorism. But to properly assess the potential for radical, militia violence, it is important to size up the threat quantifiably and qualitatively. In 2001, militias and other extremist, right-wing organizations do not possess the sufficient strength to be considered a threat to the integrity of this nation. However, there are enough individuals--either members of an established militia or members of the radical fringe--who distrust and hate the federal government and its officials enough to commit violent acts of domestic terrorism.

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