Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Number of Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Edged up Last Year, FBI Reports

Number of Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Edged up Last Year, FBI Reports

The Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which also collects its own data on hate crimes separate from the FBI's, reported that anti-Muslim incidents increased 9 percent from the previous year in 2016.

While the data provides a way to compare annual hate crime statistics, the number of actual hate crime incidents is believed to drastically under reported, according to advocacy groups.

Of the departments that recorded a hate crime, the majority- 25 incidents, or 64 percent - occurred in Cobb County. And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 religion-motivated crimes. The month before, windows were smashed at Temple Israel in Alameda.

According to The Washington Post, the statistics are not completely representative of all hate crimes that have occurred in the United States in a given year.

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Former FBI director James Comey spoke about the bureau's tracking of hate crimes before his dismissal in 2017.

There were 40 hate crimes reported in the state previous year, the highest number of bias-related incidents since 2010.

Sessions said that the Justice Department's Hate Crimes Subcommittee will continue to "explore ways to expand and improve training for federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigators; improve data collection of hate crimes; and to create even better partnerships with local law enforcement and affected communities".

The latest overall figure included sharper spikes in hate crimes targeting several minority groups. There were 307 crimes against Muslims in 2016, up from 257 in 2015, which at the time was the highest number since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is now engaging with state and local leaders and to find ways to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes.

Amid a wave of bomb threats against Jewish centers in March, the SPLC said the heated campaign had fueled an increase in the "use of slurs and other derogatory language" across the U.S.

Religion-motivated crimes accounted for 21.0 percent of incidents, and crimes motivated by sexual orientation accounted for 17 percent of incidents.

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