A Department of Homeland Security memo suggests a 'possible link'
between Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the attack on Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords, and American Renaissance, an 'anti-government'
A possible link between Jared Lee Loughner, the primary suspect
in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and American
Renaissance, the publication of an anti-immigration group, offers
potential new insights into what may have caused the 22-year-old
Arizonan to carry out the attack, which killed six people and
wounded more than a dozen outside a Tucson, Ariz. stripmall on
The shooting attack gravely wounded Representative Giffords and
killed her aide Gabriel Zimmerman, US District Judge John Roll, a
nine-year-old girl, and three others. The hail of gunfire shocked
the nation and reinvigorated scrutiny of rancor and anger-fueled
debate in American politics.
On Sunday, Fox News quoted a Department of Homeland Security memo
that states Mr. Loughner is "possibly linked" to American
Renaissance, which DHS says promotes views that are "anti-
government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG [Zionist Occupational
Government], anti-Semitic." Both Giffords and Mr. Zimmerman are
American Renaissance is the publication of the The New Century
Foundation, described by the Anti-Defamation League as a "self-
styled think tank." The ADL, on its website, calls American
Renaissance a "white supremacist journal and companion Website" that
"promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the
intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes
articles on the supposed decline of American society because of
integrationist social policies."
The DHS memo quoted on Fox goes on to say: "Arizona Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner's firing frenzy, is the
first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US
government. She was also opposite this group's ideology when it came
to immigration debate."
"When you look at Loughner's web posts, he puts himself out as
half fantasy seeker and dreamer and half political philosopher, and
American Renaissance, while a hate group, markets itself as a
political philosophy organization," says Brian Levin, director of
the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State
University, at San Bernardino.
Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-
Defamation League, is skeptical about any hard connection between
Loughner and American Renaissance.
"The fans of American Renaissance tend to be older and they tend
to be intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals," says Mr. Pitcavage.
"Based on the limited nature of [Loughner's] internet footprint
suggesting his thoughts and beliefs, there's nothing to lead one to
think he would lean that way. It's perplexing to us that there is a
notion of a substantial connection."
In Arizona, particularly, immigration issues, including the
passage of a tough anti-immigration law last year, overlapped with
parts of the broader tea party agenda. Giffords narrowly defeated a
tea party candidate in November's election. She supported the
federal health-care reform law and spoke out against Arizona's tough
anti-immigration law, both counter to her tea party opponent.
American Renaissance's website carries what appears to be a paid tea
party advertisement featuring the "Don't Tread on Me" flag that's
become synonymous with many of the movement's protests.
After the shooting, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a
Democrat in a largely Republican state, condemned "the vitriol that
comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government." But
the potential link to American Renaissance frames the shooting in a
different, and possibly more complex, light.
The New Century Foundation was founded by Yale University
graduate Jared Taylor, the author of several books on race and
policy who has has written that diversity is "dangerous" because it
is "one of the most divisive forces on the planet. …