MINNEAPOLIS – Hate groups have markedly grown over the last two decades in the U.S. but have mostly stayed away from Minnesota.
In the last 17 years, the number of hate groups in the U.S. doubled to 917 existing today, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Minnesota claims ten of them, up from eight just two years ago, according to the SPLC.
As a matter of perspective, Minnesota is 46th in the nation with about 1.9 hate groups per million people, according to the report.
“We have it here, no place is immune,” said Andrew Luger, former U.S. attorney for Minnesota who spent significant time investigating extremist groups, such as ISIS, and its recruitment of Somali-Minnesotans.
Luger believes the internet—specifically social media—has incubated the messages from said groups in recent years.
“When I was in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney, we saw this building and we saw this developing, and we were actively working throughout the state of Minnesota to actively address it and combat it,” said Luger.
According to a report by the security company SafeHome, the average number of likes from Twitter posts from hate groups tripled in 2015, and then tripled again in 2016.
Anti-immigrant organizations and posts attract the most followers and the most likes per tweet, according to the report.