KKK Terrorist Activities
The Ku Klux Klan originally started in 1865 originating out of Pulaski in Tennessee. At that time it was already acknowledged as a terrorist organisation culminating from disquiet among confederate army veterans.
Using threats of violence against black and white republicans, the Ku Klux Klan sought to restore white supremacy. This activity was curtailed with the introduction of the Force Acts of 1870/71 which were used to prosecute illegal Klan activities.
Around 1915 the Ku Klux Klan sought to establish their activities with a recruiting drive originally started in Georgia. Areas in the South saw a huge increase in KKK orchestrated violence thanks to the success of the recruitment drive which was yielding a massive and rapid increase in membership. For around a decade the KKK enjoyed a membership that rose to over 4 million, before an equally rapid decline saw numbers dwindle to less than 30,000 by 1930.
Terrorist activities of the KKK and reminders of the Ku Klux Klan history of terrorism were brought back into the spotlight in with the bombing of a Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963. Four members of a KKK group known as the United Klans of America conspired to and carried out the bombing which led to the deaths of four young girls.
Even today many consider the Ku Klux Klan to be a terrorist organisation. For example, in 1999 a resolution was passed in Charleston South Carolina declaring the KKK to be a terrorist organisation.
In addition to a prolific KKK history, high profile activities in modern days continue to re-affirm this stance, as the FBI arrested four KKK members in 1997 for conspiring to blow up a gas plant. The three men and single women were all members of the True Knights of the KKK from Dallas. Investigations revealed that the planned bombing was actually part of a money raising scheme involving the robbery of a $2 million armoured car.
Even more recently, in the summer of 2002, a plot to blow up the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina was prevented with the arrest of local Ku Klux Klan leader and “Grand Dragon” Charles Robert Barefoot Jr. A search of Barefoot’s house revealed terrorist equipment such as bomb making materials, a selection of high power weapons, a large quantity of ammunition and two home-made bombs. Reports state that around a dozen men had been meeting at Barefoot’s trailer home conspiring terrorist activities and promoting bomb making activities. In 2003 Barefoot pled guilty to weapons charges and started a 27 month term of imprisonment.
While it could be said that the KKK have largely avoided media glare and the domestic terrorism spotlight, there is no escaping the fact that the KKK remain America’s longest running terrorist organisation. The KKK history of terrorist activities shows no sign slowing as KKK membership may have dwindled to it’s lowest number ever, but it remains strong at over 4,000 across the United States. KKK crimes and terrorist activities are still occurring every year, as the Ku Klux Klan remains a resilient and adaptive organisation determined to remain effective in the pursuit of their goals.
To learn more about the history of the KKK Click on the link above