Armed & Dangerous

  • March 25, 2015

Read the full report, Armed & Dangerous: Militias Take Aim At The Federal Government (PDF)

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the ADL is making available select reports from 1994-1997, the era when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred.

This report describes circumstances in the mid-1990s, not the present day.

In 1994, the Anti-Defamation League raised the alert about a new extremist movement emerging in the United States:  anti-government militia groups.  In its report Armed & Dangerous, ADL warned of the growing threat that right-wing militia groups posed. 

Armed & Dangerous detailed militia activity in 13 states as well as explaining their ideology and beliefs. The aims of these militia groups involved laying the groundwork for massive resistance to the federal government and its law enforcement agencies, as well as opposition to gun control laws. Such paramilitary resistance was necessary to fight what these extremist believed was a conspiracy designed to impose a tyrannical government over the United States. 

Topping their concerns was a paranoid fear of government confiscation of firearms in an attempt to disarm the American public. Thus thwarting any type of gun control became a major aim of the militia movement.

The report sought to alert the American public and the law enforcement community to the danger posed by these extremists, many of whom were engaging in paramilitary training while spreading an incendiary anti-government message laced with conspiracy theories and, in some places, anti-Semitism.

Sadly, Armed & Dangerous proved prophetic in its warnings about anti-government extremism, as only months later Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who shared the ideology of the militia movement, bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.