Screenshot of Dylann Roof with gun leaving Emanuel AME (copy)

An image captured by a video surveillance camera shows Dylann Roof leaving Emanuel AME Church with a gun following a mass shooting on June 17, 2015. File/Provided

The same year a self-avowed white supremacist was found guilty in the racially motivated killings of nine black parishioners at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church, the number of hate groups in America continued to rise.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Wednesday released its annual "Intelligence Report," which documents the number and the types of hate groups currently operating in the country.

The report found the total number of hate groups operating in 2016 rose to 917 — up from 892 in 2015.

“2016 was an unprecedented year for hate,” wrote the report's author Mark Potok, who is also a senior fellow at the SPLC. "The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we've made."

The report says it saw the near-tripling of anti-Muslim groups  — from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016, an increase of 197 percent. 

The left-leaning SPLC also said in its report that President Donald Trump is partly to blame. 

In its quarterly Intelligence Report, the SPLC described Trump as having “electrified the radical right.”

According to the author of the report, supporters "saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country."

Within the first 10 days of Trump's election, the SPLC documented what it calls 867 bias-related incidents, including more than 300 that were targeted at immigrants or Muslims.

The SPLC also warned of the growing number of right-wing extremists online. Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in  a black church in downtown Charleston, found inspiration online for his hate. 

Twelve hate groups are currently operating in South Carolina, according to the SPLC. The figure reflects a slight decline for the Palmetto State, which had 19 active hate groups in 2015.

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Hate groups SPLC report

This map provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows a map of the active hate groups in the United States. According to the map, there are 12 active hate groups in South Carolina.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.