The number of U.S. mass killings linked to extremism over the past decade was at least three times higher than the total from any other 10-year period since the 1970s, says a report by the Anti-Defamation League. The report found that all extremist killings identified in 2022 were linked to right-wing extremism, with an especially high number linked to white supremacy. They include a racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo that left 10 Black shoppers dead and a mass shooting that killed five people at an LGBT nightclub in Colorado Springs. “It is not an exaggeration to say that we live in an age of extremist mass killings,” the report from the group’s Center on Extremism says, the Associated Press reports. Between two and seven extremism-related mass killings occurred every decade from the 1970s to the 2000s, but in the 2010s that number skyrocketed to 21. The trend has continued with five extremist mass killings in 2021 and 2022, as many as there were during the first decade of the new millennium. The number of victims has risen as well.
Several factors combined to drive the numbers up between 2010 and 2020. There were shootings inspired by the rise of the Islamic State group as well as a handful targeting police officers after shootings of civilians and others linked to the increasing promotion of violence by white supremacists, said Mark Pitcavage of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. The center tracks deaths linked to various forms of extremism in the U.S. and compiles them in annually. It tracked 25 extremism-related killings last year, a decrease from the 33 the year before. Ninety-three percent of the killings in 2022 were committed with firearms. With the waning of the Islamic State group, the main threat in the near future will likely be white supremacist shooters, the report said. The increase in the number of mass killing attempts is one of the most alarming recent trend, said Center on Extremism Vice President Oren Segal. “We cannot stand idly by and accept this as the new norm,” Segal said.