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White supremacist extremists receive higher threat level rating than ISIS in New Jersey

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) increased the threat level of white supremacist extremists from moderate to high, according to a report released by the state agency Friday.

The change comes amid increased rates of crimes linked to white supremacist groups, such as a New Jersey man who allegedly conspired with members of a neo-Nazi network to vandalize synagogues in the Midwest.

"The threat from white supremacist extremists is also high due to the number of threats, plots, and attacks in 2019," the report read. "In 2020, white supremacist extremists are likely to cite accelerationism as a motivation for future violent acts, and recruitment efforts promoting extremist ideology continue throughout the State."

The report gave anarchist, anti-government, black separatist, militia and sovereign citizen extremists a moderate threat level. It gave Islamic terror groups such as al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS a low threat level, though the report said that ISIS's inspiration of supporters in the U.S. "makes homegrown violent extremists a consistently high threat."

"Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists," said Jared Maples, the director of the NJOHSP, in the report. "New Jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great state."