This past Monday, when FBI Special Agent Teresa Carlson briefed reporters on the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people dead, she said law enforcement had no prior indication that the shooter, Wade Michael Page, had been dangerous. "As far as I know, no law enforcement agency had any reason to believe that he was planning or plotting or capable of such violence," she said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which maintains an archive of published material from white supremacists and other hate groups, says that Page, who played in white supremacist rock bands and was involved with a skinhead group called the Hammerskins, began showing up in their database as early as 10 years ago. "There are hundreds of people involved in neo-Nazi groups and skinhead bands, maybe thousands, who say and write the kind of violent things that this guy did," notes Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project. "The ability to figure out who is going to actually do [violence] is not easy. This stuff is protected [speech] and most people don't commit violence."
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