Feb 23, 2023 - Politics & Policy

All U.S. extremist mass killings in 2022 linked to far right, report says

Memorial for the victims of the shooting at the club in Colorado Springs

A memorial for the victims of the shooting at the club in Colorado Springs, Colorado in Nov. 2022. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Right-wing extremists committed every ideologically driven mass killing identified in the U.S. in 2022, with an "unusually high" proportion perpetrated by white supremacists, according to a new report published Thursday.

Driving the news: The high number of killings linked to white supremacists was "primarily due to mass shootings," the report released by the Anti-Defamation League found.

  • Although there was a decrease in extremist killings in 2022 from 2021, the number was comparable to the number of extremist killings in 2020.
  • The report noted that 60% of the deaths stemming from extremist mass killings in 2022 came from two incidents: the racist mass shooting in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York and a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

Zoom out: The number of mass killings linked to extremism in the U.S. in the past decade was at least three times higher than any decade since the 1970s, per the report.

  • Between 2011 and 2020, there were 21 mass killing incidents in the U.S., compared to only five from 2001 to 2010.
  • From 1991 to 2000, there were seven mass killing incidents in the U.S., and only two from 1981 to 1990, and six between 1971 to 1980.
  • "The 26 mass killing incidents over the past 12 years actually exceed those from the previous 40 years (20)," the report stated.

State of play: The number of deaths associated with mass killing incidents has also risen.

  • Between 2010 and 2020, 164 people died in ideological extremist-related mass killing incidents, more than in any other decade other than the 1990s — in which nearly all the deaths were associated with one event, the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • "It is not an exaggeration to say that we live in an age of extremist mass killings," the report said.
Go deeper