POSTED: 11:17 a.m. HST, Jan 9, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 3:12 p.m. HST, Jan 9, 2011
WASHINGTON — An official familiar with the Arizona shooting investigation said Sunday that local authorities are looking at a possible connection between accused gunman Jared Loughner and an online group known for white supremacist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, said local authorities were examining the American Renaissance website for possible motives for Saturday's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
American Renaissance is connected to the white supremacist New Century Foundation, according to an analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group that tracks hate crimes. New Century Foundation founder Jared Taylor has called racial, ethnic and religious diversity "one of the most divisive forces on the planet," according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Taylor on Sunday denied any connection to the accused gunman. "No one by the name of Loughner has ever been a subscriber to American Renaissance or has ever registered for an American Renaissance conference," Taylor wrote on the website.
"American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms," Taylor wrote.