The Dark Side of the Sunshine State
Read the full, comprehensive report, Extremism in Florida: The Dark Side of the Sunshine State (PDF).
Florida is known for hospitality and friendliness, but within its borders lurk some who have more sinister intentions. With its large population, Florida possesses a significant extremist fringe that frequently poses threats to its citizens, public officials, and law enforcement officers.
In the 1990s, white supremacists and anti-government extremists regularly made headlines in Florida. Two anti-government extremists from Florida murdered a police officer in Alabama, while an Orlando neo-Nazi plotted armed robberies and bomb attacks. A group of anti-government extremists and white supremacists operated a $500-million pyramid scheme from Tampa and, as the century drew to a close, the leader of a Florida militia group plotted to blow up power plants in Florida and Georgia.
The dawn of a new century has not stilled the anger and hatred in Florida’s extremist fringe. In 2011, hate groups and anti-government extremist groups can be found in every section of Florida, from the Panhandle to Key West. Some engage in criminal activity, while others are more active in propaganda distribution, spreading hatred and intolerance among Florida’s citizens, including its children.
This report surveys recent extremist activity in Florida, of a variety of types, highlighting the groups and individuals most active in Florida, as well as prominent groups from elsewhere that have targeted the state.
The report includes information on:
- Racist skinheads
- Ku Klu Klan groups
- Racist Prison gangs
- Sovereign citizen movement
- Tax protest movement
- Militia movement
- Domestic Muslim extremism
- International terrorism
- Black extremists
- Animal Rights extremism