(AL.com) — The number of hate groups in Alabama has increased for the third straight year and is at its highest since 2012, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The Year in Hate and Extremism 2016 report noted that hate groups from Alabama increased from 23 in 2013 to 27 last year, driven by the so-called hateful rhetoric of President Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, according to author of the report Mark Potok, a senior fellow at SPLC. Hate groups in the Yellowhammer state had dropped to 18 in 2014, the lowest number on record, according to data provided by SPLC, but a sharp rise in Ku Klux Klan and black separatist groups has seen the figure gradually increase.
The KKK currently has 11 active groups in the state, up from five in 2014, bucking a nationwide trend that has seen a significant decrease in the number of KKK affiliated groups. In addition, black separatist groups grew from one to five over the same period, according to the report.
While Alabama does not have any specific anti-Muslim groups, which saw a 197 percent nationwide increase in 2016, there is a new anti-immigration group in the state, known as the BorderKeepers of Alabama.
The report noted a small 3 percent increase of hate groups across the country, going from 892 in 2015 to 917 last year.