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August 8th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

A closer look at alleged shooter Wade Page's ties to white supremacist groups

Police are still looking for a motive behind the tragic Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Authorities say Wade Page, the man who allegedly killed six and injured four, did not leave behind a note.

However, authorities do know that Page spent his last few weeks in seclusion. He quit his job and moved out of an apartment he shared with an ex-girlfriend.

Page was a member of white supremacist bands and posed in pictures online that showed his sympathy for white supremacist beliefs.

Counterterrorism analyst J.M. Berger joins Starting Point today to explain the difficulties in identifying violent members of skinhead groups and to discuss the prevalence of white supremacists in the military.

"You've probably heard the phrase after 9/11 that processing the intelligence was like trying to drink from a fire hose, and it's the same thing here," Berger explains. "The people who are going to act out violently are often pretty subdued in some of the stuff that they put out there whereas, you know, somebody who - isn't ever going to do anything might talk a very good game and sound very scary."

 


Filed under: Sikh temple shooting
August 7th, 2012
01:07 PM ET

SPLC fellow: 'I wouldn't be surprised to learn that [Page] essentially expected to die'

(CNN) - Investigators spent Monday trying to figure out what led 40-year-old Wade Michael Page from repairing missiles for the Army to a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, where he was killed by police at the end of a Sunday morning rampage.

The shaven-headed Page, whose tattoos included the Celtic cross adopted by white supremacist groups, had been the front man for a white-power rock band called "End Apathy" for several years.

On Starting Point this morning, Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow Mark Potok discusses the prevalence of white supremacist groups and explains how this type of music is used as a recruitment tool.

"I think directly as a result of Obama's election and what that represents, we've just seen an explosive growth not only in white supremacist groups but in anti-government groups, militias, all kinds of groups on the radical right," Potok explains. "It's really been quite frightening."

Explaining that it is difficult to identify individuals involved in the white supremacist movement who may become violent, Potok says, "The sad truth is there are so many of these people that you simply can't put authorities running after each one of them because in most cases, they haven't done anything illegal."


Filed under: Sikh temple shooting
August 6th, 2012
01:10 PM ET

Oak Creek Sikh community member: 'An action like this has to be some form of hate'

(CNN) - An Army veteran who neighbors say played in a far right punk band was the lone shooter in the rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people and wounded four, according to information from law enforcement authorities.

Wade Michael Page, 40, was shot to death by police responding to the Sunday morning attack in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, the community's chief of police told reporters Monday.

It was the latest violence against the Sikh community in the United States in apparent misdirected revenge for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

One of the heroes on Sunday was the president of the temple Satwant Kaleka, who passed away after trying to tackle the gunman and getting shot.

Kaleka's niece and nephew, Simran Kaleka and Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, discuss their uncle and the violence against the Sikh community on Starting Point this morning.

"Sikh culture hasn't experienced this level of hate," Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka explains. "It's important to educate people that we're not terrorists. We're humans like everybody else."


Filed under: Sikh temple shooting
August 6th, 2012
12:42 PM ET

Sikh Coalition chairman: 'There's a confusion about who Sikhs are and the values that we represent'

Although the motive for yesterday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin remains unclear, authorities have named the suspected shooter as Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist, according to information from authorities and neighbors.

The shooting has drawn attention to the Sikh community, and on Starting Point this morning, chairman of the board of trustees for the Sikh Coalition Narinder Singh sits down to try to clarify common misconceptions about the religion.

"The religion focuses on the core beliefs of living an honest life in society, giving back to those less fortunate and remembering and living in the service of God," Singh explains. "There's also a focus on equality and making sure that we fight for the justice of everyone, not just Sikhs. So I think that those values are pretty universally American [...] and that's the untold story of the Sikhs. We've been part of this country for the last hundred plus years in all walks of life."

Addressing speculation that the shooting may have been a hate crime, Singh says, "If this is confirmed as a hate crime then I think we have a broader responsibility as a society. Then it's about the environment that we've created where we separate Americans out from other Americans. We create an other and we really have to address and look at those pieces."


Filed under: Sikh temple shooting