Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- The Southern Poverty Law Center said Arizona is now home to 18 local anti-government groups, but Bill Straus with the Anti-Defamation League said he believes that's a conservative estimate.

"Trying to put a count on them is like trying to count rabbits. The level of anti-government sentiment is spiking again."

Straus said anger over the economy, possible gun control and a deep dislike of the president make some members of these groups very dangerous.

"Among these groups there's a specific genre of sovereign citizens that don't believe any of our laws are legal," he said.

The militia movement in Arizona gained steam in the 1990s until the Oklahoma City bombing, carried out by Timothy McVeigh who was living in Kingman prior to the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history: 168 people died including 19 children.

"That act brought a rapid and tremendous decrease of these anti-government groups afterward," said Straus.

The SPLC said the number of anti-government groups is at an all-time high nationally. There are 1,360 of these organizations in nationwide, compared with just 149 in 2008.

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.