Hate groups, particularly Nazi-oriented skinheads, are mushrooming across New Jersey at the same time that anti-Semitic incidents in the state have shot to an all-time high.
Law enforcement officials and organizations that monitor such groups say New Jersey’s increase is extraordinary.
Active hate groups in New Jersey totaled 31 last year, up from five in 1999, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups around the nation.
“They’re popping up all over,” said Brian Christensen, an investigator with New Jersey’s Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations.
Experts say that the increase in the number of groups does not necessarily mean more people are getting involved or that some larger war of the races has gained momentum. They also point out that the overwhelming majority of bias crimes are not committed by those in hate groups.
Just so people remember what real Nazis and neo-Nazis are all about.