Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Right-Wing Extremist Murders Surged In 2018: ADL

Murders at the hand of extremists were up 35% in 2018, with right-wing extremists responsible for more deaths than any other year in more than two decades, the Anti-Defamation League reported Wednesday.

The ADL’s Center on Extremism tracked 50 extremism-related murders last year, according to the new edition of its Murder and Extremism Report. All of them were conducted by right-wing extremists (one perpetrator also had alleged ties to Islamist extremism). That number made 2018 the deadliest year for right-wing extremists since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which killed 171.

The 2018 death toll was the fourth-highest overall regardless of category since 1970. The last four years have comprised four of the six deadliest years for extremist killings in that timeframe.

Among the murders tracked in the ADL’s analysis were the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17; Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which killed 11; and a Waffle House in Nashville. All of the suspects in those cases had expressed support online for far-right ideologies.

“The white supremacist attack in Pittsburgh should serve as a wake-up call to everyone about the deadly consequences of hateful rhetoric,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “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 study also found that over the last 10 years, around three-quarters of extremism-related killings were conducted by right-wing extremists, with only a quarter conducted by Islamist extremists.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.