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Experts warn about local anti-government, extremist groups in Ohio

If the insurrection at the Capitol showed anything, it’s that we have a long way to go to get back to a civil political dialogue.
Posted at 7:23 AM, Jun 10, 2022

CLEVELAND — The images and videos from January 6th are unforgettable for Case Western Reserve University professor Daniel Flannery, and he says other Americans shouldn't forget either.

“What occurred on January 6th is a concern for all of us,” said Flannery. “There are a number of issues in the country right now that are divisive and they're giving people rationale and motivation.”

On top of the dozen Ohioans charged in connection with the insurrection, the Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking 20 known hate groups in the buckeye state, specifically six of them in Northeast Ohio.

“What we're seeing is that individuals who've been implicated or at least have been alleged to participate and are being investigated are coming from all walks of life. There's no particular profile or demographic,” said Flannery.

Ohio also ranks No. 2 nationwide for the most anti-government groups, with 13 of them as of 2021.

As topics like abortion rights and gun rights remain hot topics, Flannery said local and federal law enforcement must stay alert and keep an eye on these individuals.

“We need to not dismiss it as unimportant,” said Flannery. “Certainly not overreact unnecessarily, but to be diligent in terms of what this might mean for behavior, for potential violence, for people acting out when certain events occur, and there are many that are coming up for it.”

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