A law enforcement memo based on information from the Department of Homeland Security suggests Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, may have been linked to a racist white supremacy and anti-Semitic hate group — a link the group itself vehemently denies.
The government memo, obtained by Fox News, notes that Loughlin has no direct connection, but “strong suspicion is being directed at” a group called American Renaissance, a group that Loughner mentioned in some of his internet postings.
“The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic,” the memo says, adding that Congresswoman Giffords is the first Jewish female elected to federal office in Arizona.
American Renaissance has since denied the government’s suggestion that Loughner was associated the group. On Sunday, the head of the organization responded to the claims, calling DHS’ assumptions “scurrilous,” and denying the government’s “anti-Semitic” charges.
“That is complete nonsense,” Jared Taylor told FNC’s James Rosen Sunday morning. “I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term ‘ZOG.’ We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us.”
Taylor claims the first time he ever heard of Loughner was when his alleged shooting spree was splashed across the national news on Saturday. Taylor also says he’s checked his organization’s records going back twenty years and Loughner was never a subscriber to any of AmRen’s publications, nor did he find any indication that Loughner ever attended one of the group’s events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.
While AmRen denies being anti-Semitic, the group unabashedly supports anti-immigration policies to prevent the entry of non-whites into the United States. The group has been vocal supporters of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, a law that has been extensively criticized, characterized as racist and legally challenged by the Obama Justice Department. But Giffords, a Democrat, has ardently supported the law and has criticized the federal government’s “inaction and neglect” in securing nation’s southern border.
In the time since Saturday’s shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken command of the investigation and the Pima County Sheriff has described the act as a “hate crime.”