White supremacists and other far-right extremists killed at least 38 people in the U.S. in 2019, the sixth deadliest year for violence by all domestic extremists since 1970, according to a report issued Wednesday by a group that fights anti-semitism.
The Anti-Defamation League counted a total of 42 domestic extremism-related slayings last year. The gunman who shot and killed 22 people in August 2019 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, accounted for more than half of them. Patrick Crusius, the suspect in that shooting rampage, is accused of targeting Mexicans at the store and faces federal hate crime charges.
Only the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in 1995 and the Pulse nightclub shooting by Omar Mateen in 2016 were deadlier attacks by domestic extremists in the past 50 years, according to the New York City-based ADL.
The ADL’s annual Murder and Extremism report says domestic extremists of all kinds killed 42 people in a total of 17 separate incidents last year, down from 53 killings in 2018 but higher than the 41 in 2017.
"This is part of a general trend of increasingly lethal attacks by domestic extremists in the United States," the report says. Four of the deadliest years for extremist-related violence have occurred in the past five years, according to the ADL.
Right-wing extremists killed at least 330 people over the past decade, accounting for 76% of all domestic extremist-related killings.
“This should no longer come as a shock to anyone,” the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement. “Lawmakers, law enforcement and the public need to recognize the grave and dangerous threat posed by violent white supremacy. We cannot begin to defeat this deadly form of hatred if we fail to even recognize it.”
The four killings that weren’t deemed to be acts of violence by far-right extremists were from the same case: the December 2019 attacks in Jersey City, New Jersey, that killed a police officer in a cemetery and three people at a kosher grocery store.