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Report Says Militia Groups on the Rise in US

A U.S. legal organization says right-wing militia groups with anti-government agendas are regrouping across the country and growing rapidly.

A report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center says after a decade of nearly disappearing, the anti-government militia movement in the U.S. has returned.

The SPLC is a non-profit civil rights group in the U.S. state of Alabama that, among other things, tracks hate groups in the U.S.

The center says the stress of a poor economy, a liberal administration led by an African-American president, and the changing demographics in the country are all fueling the rise of militias.

The center says a law enforcement agency found 50 new militia training groups in the country, including one composed of current and former police officers and soldiers.

The report quotes a law enforcement official as saying the growth of right-wing groups is the most significant in a decade, and that it is only a matter of time before there could be threats or violence.

In the 1990s, anti-government elements plotted or carried out numerous attacks, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. It was the deadliest attack on U.S. soil until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The center says videos and the Internet are helping right-wing groups reach out to potential recruits. It also says cable television hosts who are using their platforms to spread conspiracy theories are also driving the rise of anti-government sentiments.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.