There has been a surge in extremist groups in the United States, with armed militias driven by deepening hostility on the right to President Barack Obama and anger over the economy. The US’s most prominent civil rights group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, recently completed a report which found that so-called “patriot” groups came back to life in 2009, jumping nearly 250% to more than 500, and with strong ties to conservative mainstream politics. “The SPLC report, called Rage on the Right, said the rise in extremist groups was ‘a cause for grave concern’ given their propensity to use violence during their heyday in the 90s, most notably with the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. It added that the issues driving support for such groups were increasingly populist and that ‘signs of growing radicalisation are everywhere’. Patriot groups have been fuelled by anger over the changing demographics of the country, the soaring public debt, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama that have been branded ‘socialist’ or even ‘fascist’ by his political opponents, the report said.”