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New NYPD intelligence unit to tackle far-right extremist threats

The New York Police Department (NYPD) announced Wednesday that it has launched a new unit that will focus entirely on combating far-right extremists and neo-nazis named the Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism (R.E.M.E.). R.E.M.E. opened earlier this month and has since begun dozens of investigations into white supremacist groups and terror threats stemming from far-right groups within the city. Right-wing militias and far-right groups R.E.M.E. has investigated include The Proud Boys, Atomwaffen Division, Oathkeepers, and the Three Percenters.

The formation of R.E.M.E. follows a string of mass shootings by white nationalists across the US in the past several years, including attacks in El Paso, Texas; Gilroy, California; and Dayton, Ohio. New York has also experienced an increase of attacks on Jews, and the NYPD reports that there have been 163 reported incidents as of September 2019 while 108 were reported in the same period last year, resulting in a 50% increase. Anti-Semitic incidents compose the majority of reported hate crimes in the state. The NYPD announced R.E.M.E. the day after a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City that killed four people, including a police officer, to members of the Jewish community, and a store worker.

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