Shooting Highlights Growth Of Hate Groups

Federal investigators in Washington, D.C. are scouring the troubled history of 88 year-old shooting suspect James Von Brunn - an anti-Semite with a lifelong grievance against the government who found allies on white supremacist Web sites.

On his own site, holywesternempire.org, Von Brunn promotes his Internet book "'Kill the Best Gentiles'... a new hard-hitting expose of the JEW CONSPIRACY to destroy the White gene-pool."

Chapters are titled "The Holocaust Hoax," "The Negro," and "The Aryan Force." In writing fondly about Nazis, Von Brunn claims, "Hitler, as American boobs are beginning to learn, was not all wrong."

Von Brunn, who claims to be a genius and a U.S. Navy World War II veteran, spent six years in federal prison. He was convicted for breaking in to Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington in 1981, armed with a revolver, sawed-off shotgun and hunting knife. Von Brunn said he wanted to kidnap then Fed Chairman Paul Volcker for failing to curb rising interest rates.

He later ranted, "Remember, the Federal Reserve Act (1913) gave JEWS control of America's MONEY."

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Police and federal agents today converged on Von Brunn's apartment complex in Annapolis, Md., looking for potential evidence.

But, he's moved around in white supremacist circles, living for a while in Hayden, Ida., the same community that was home to the founder of the Aryan Nation.

The Holocaust Museum shootings came 11 days after another hate crime, the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller. The suspect in that shooting, Scott Roeder, is described as an anti-abortion rights radical.

The violence underscores a troubling trend. In the past eight years, the number hate groups in America has exploded - up 50 percent from 602 in 2000 to 926 last year.

Sources say Von Brunn apparently acted alone and police know of no other targets. But, they're keenly aware that the hatred he spewed is at the base of a wider on-going threat.
  • Bob Orr

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