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Hate Crimes Rose 5 Percent in 2016, FBI Says

14 November 2017

The data released Monday by the federal law enforcement agency show there were 684 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents past year, a 3 percent increase from the 664 recorded by the FBI in 2015.

The law center and other watchdog groups have blamed the spike in extremist groups and hate speech to the divisive presidential election previous year.

The 2016 tallies mark an uptick from 2015, when 15 hate crimes were reported statewide.

Hate crimes in Maryland, however, have decreased 14 percent, according to the data. Of the hate crimes motivated by religion, the report found 55 percent of the incidents were due to anti-Semitism, followed by 25 percent that were sparked by anti-Muslim views.

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Furthermore, there were another 7,321 related offenses stemming from bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, and other traits.

Hate crimes in the United States rose moderately past year, with hate-motivated incidents against several target groups, including Arabs, Muslims and transgender people, showing sharper increases, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The total was slightly higher in 2015, with the county recording 68 percent of reported hate crimes in the state.

In releasing the figures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said hate crimes remain the "number one investigative priority" of its civil rights unit and pledged to continue collecting data on the problem.

These numbers correlate with the NCAVP's recent report.

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"It's deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row", Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. 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.

There were also 105 incidents against transgender people, a 44 percent increase compared to 2015. So far for 2017, CAIR has recorded 195 anti-Muslim hate crimes.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Mr. Sessions said.

Mr Sessions added that he would await a Department of Justice Crime Reduction and Public Safety task force report to determine what actions should be taken to address the increase.

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Anti-Catholic crimes also increased by 9 incidents. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.

Hate Crimes Rose 5 Percent in 2016, FBI Says