Florida has ‘extensive’ network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists, ADL report says



CNN

A new report by the Anti-Defamation League has uncovered another “extensive” network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists in Florida, which the organization says includes most of the people charged in the Jan. 6 riot.

“Florida is home to a vast and interconnected network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists,” the Anti-Defamation League said in the report, noting that new groups have emerged in the state in recent years while existing groups have “expanded.” public both online and on the ground”.

The anti-hate group’s findings are documented in a new report titled “Hate in the Sunshine State: Extremism and Antisemitism in Florida, 2020-2022.”

Citing data from the George Washington University Program on Extremism, the report says Florida has the highest number of people reported in connection with the January 6 riots.

About 34.4% of these people “maintain links with state extremists, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Centens,” Data from the ADL’s Center on Extremism shows.

The state has been a “hotbed of Proud Boy activity and influence” since Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio founded the Miami chapter, the report said.

The Department of Justice has charged Tarrio and four other leaders with seditious conspiracy in connection with the June 6, 2021 attack, and all four have pleaded not guilty, CNN previously reported.

Florida has 15 Proud Boys chapters that are “actively recruiting new members,” according to the report.

The report says a recent leak of membership data shows about 2,700 people have signed up with Oath Keepers using Florida addresses. While that “doesn’t necessarily indicate current membership or group activity in Florida,” recruiting efforts in the state “are still troubling,” the ADL says.

A Florida Oath Keepers cell used a military “stack” formation to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to the league. CNN reported in July that the members underwent a training session on “unconventional warfare.”

At least seven Florida members have been charged in connection with the day’s events.

Florida also “has become a hotbed of ‘America First’ and Groyper activity in recent years,” the report says.

These groups, many of whose leaders and members have recently relocated to Florida, seek to ban immigrants, oppose the rights of LGBTQ+ people and “preserve white, European-American identity and culture,” according to the report.

The report also highlights an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes in the state over the past two years, noting that there was a 50% increase in the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2021 compared to 2020.

The ADL’s Extremism Center also recorded the distribution of “over 400 instances of white supremacist propaganda” between January 2020 and August 2022.