Militia groups, many of which spout angry anti-government rhetoric or conduct paramilitary training, have sprung up in 40 states, according to the ADL study, "Beyond the Bombing: The Militia Menace Grows." Active membership is estimated in the report at 15,000.
In California, where civil rights monitoring groups had identified only a handful of militia activists before the April 19 federal building bombing, there are now about 35 operating militia groups, according to the ADL. Among the areas with active militias, some of which are moderate and some more radical in their outlook, are Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, Butte and Kern counties, according to the report.
"While we tracked a disturbing growth of militia groups between October and April, we were especially distressed to discover the movement continued to grow even after the devastation in Oklahoma City," said David A. Lehrer, director of the ADL's regional office in Los Angeles. "As long as there are people willing to actively buy into the incendiary, paranoid propaganda of extremist militia leaders, we must take them seriously and remain alert to the threats they pose."