White supremacist extremists believe in the inherent superiority of the white race and seek to establish dominance over non-whites through violence.
There are five major subgroups within the white supremacist extremist movement: neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, groups that emerged countering African-American civil and equal rights, Christian Identity members, and prison gangs.
White supremacist extremists employ a variety of recruitment tactics, including leafleting, leveraging social media, and participating in social events. Additionally, over the last three years, white supremacist extremists have hosted conferences, organized rallies, and established think tanks to forward their agenda.
Threat to New Jersey: Moderate
White supremacist extremists in New Jersey are actively spreading their ideologies, attempting to intimidate minorities, and committing low-level crimes. In 2018, at least six different white supremacist extremist organizations were actively operating in New Jersey.
Since early 2018, the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA), a New Jersey-based white supremacist organization, placed fliers containing white supremacist rhetoric and group contact information at different locations throughout the State, including high-traffic locations and higher education institutions. Additionally, NJEHA members claimed they provided security for Patrick Little, who alleges he will run for President on an anti-Semitic platform, while he walked around Princeton (Mercer County) with a sign that read, “Expel the Jew by ’22.”
In July 2017, an unknown suspect(s) hung an anti-Semitic banner affiliated with a national white supremacist group over a Holocaust memorial in Lakewood Township (Ocean County). Additionally, authorities discovered an anti-Muslim flier linked to the same group on a cultural center at Rutgers University in February 2017.
Authorities arrested several members of Aryan Strikeforce, an international white supremacist organization based out of New Jersey, in April 2017 for conspiring to sell illegal weapons and narcotics in order to fund the group’s illicit activities. In March 2016, authorities arrested members of the Atlantic City Skinheads (AC Skins) for running a drug operation in Atlantic City (Atlantic County).
On October 27, Robert Bowers attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 and injuring at least six. Hours prior to the attack, he posted online that a Jewish organization was bringing in “invaders that kill [white] people” and that he could not “sit by and watch [white] people get slaughtered.”
In October, authorities arrested members of the Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.), a militant white supremacist group, for inciting a riot and engaging in violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. R.A.M. members allegedly traveled to several protests around the United States with the purpose of engaging in violence with counter-protesters.
On August 12, 2017, James Fields Jr. intentionally drove his car into counter-protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally—the largest gathering of white supremacists in over a decade—killing one and injuring 19.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine individuals and injured one at a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof hoped the attack would ignite a race war and inspire other white supremacist extremists.