Right-wing Extremists Murdered 50 Americans in 2018, Report Finds - and One-third of Them Were Jews

At least one-third of victims were Jewish, according to ADL ■ Death toll highest since 1995

File photo: A makeshift memorial of flowers rest on bushes outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, November 20, 2018.
Gene J. Puskar/AP

At least 50 Americans were killed by extremists in 2018, according to a report published on Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League. The report noted that in each and every one of the 17 incidents involved, the killers were affiliated with right-wing groups, in most cases white supremacy movements.

At least 16 of the victims, representing one-third of the total, were Jewish – 11 of them shot at a Pittsburgh synagogue in late October and five of them at a mass shooting at a Florida high school in February.

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The number of Americans murdered by extremists was 35 percent higher in 2018 than in the previous year, but lower than in 2015 and 2016, according to the report. However, 2018 saw the largest number of fatalities attributed to right-wing extremists since 1995, the year that Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building.

Guns were responsible for 42 of the 50 fatalities last year. Five of the 17 incidents involved shooting sprees that were responsible for a total of 38 fatalities. The deadliest were at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a total of 17 student and faculty were killed, and at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Responding to the findings, ADL Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt said: “The white supremacist attack in Pittsburgh should serve as a wake-up call to everyone about the deadly consequences of hateful rhetoric. It’s time for our nation’s leaders to appropriately recognize the severity of the threat and to devote the necessary resources to address the scourge of right-wing extremism.”

The report noted that right-wing organizations and movements have accounted over the past decade for a growing share of extremist-related killings in the United States.