RENO, Nev. (AP) – An organization that tracks hate groups says the victory a Nevada rancher claimed in a government standoff with armed militiamen has served to embolden right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists across the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center sounded a warning Thursday in a new report, that bases its findings on online chatter among extreme right-wing groups.
It says Cliven Bundy’s faceoff with federal officials at his ranch in southern Nevada in April has “invigorated” an extremist movement that has exploded since President Barack Obama was elected, growing from 150 groups in 2008 to more than 1,000 last year.
It also warns of the potential for more violence like the recent killing of two Las Vegas police officers by a pair of anti-government zealots who spent time at Bundy’s ranch. The couple were kicked off Bundy’s ranch because of their extreme views.