Federal authorities have arrested two members of a New Jersey-based white supremacist group who allegedly went on a hate-filled assault spree to beat up Arabs last New Year’s Eve.
Christopher Ising, 31, a reported member of the Atlantic City Skins from Waretown, N.J., was arrested on Tuesday by FBI agents on an indictment charging him with conspiracy and commission of a hate crime assault.
Michal Gunar, 27, of East Windsor, N.J., also faces the same federal charges. He is an alleged member of another New Jersey-based white supremacist group known as the Aryan Terror Brigade, the FBI said in announcing the arrests.
The arrests grew out of a New Year’s Eve party last year in East Brunswick, N.J., where Ising hosted a “meet and greet” gathering for white supremacists, FBI officials said.
A half hour before the New Year rang in, Ising and Gunar drove to an apartment complex in Sayreville, N.J., “with the express purpose of assaulting random, non-Caucasian individuals,” court documents allege.
“While at the complex, the defendants located and attacked three Middle Eastern men, shouting anti-Arab slurs, brandishing a knife, utilizing brass knuckles, and injuring two of the victims,” the documents say.
Further details were not provided about the victims’ identities or the extent of their injuries.
If convicted in U.S. District Court, the two defendants face substantial prison terms, depending in part on their prior criminal records, which haven’t yet been publicly disclosed. Salon
Hate crimes against perceived Muslims, which jumped up 50% in 2010 largely as a result of anti-Muslim propagandizing, remained at relatively high levels last year, according to 2011 hate crime statistics released by the FBI. Think Progress
The FBI reported that there were 157 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2011, down slightly from the 160 recorded in 2010. The 2011 crimes occurred during a period when Islam-bashing propaganda, which initially took off in 2010, continued apace. Think Progress
One in five hate crimes reported in the U.S. in 2011 were due to religious bias, most of them stemming from anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic prejudice, while almost half of such crimes were racially-motivated, the FBI has said in its new data. Hindustan Times
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crime incidents involving 7,254 offenses, according to the Hate Crime Statistics, 2011.
The number of hate groups in the U.S. has grown each year for the past 11 years, according to a report in March from the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2000 the center reported that there were 602 hate groups; in 2011 that number climbed to 1,018. ABC News