Federal Bureau of Investigation report points to continued rise in American hate crimes

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The Anti-Defamation League has mapped the hate crime incidents that were reported in cities with populations of more than 100,000 and includes information on reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity biases.

Hate crimes rose for the second straight year in 2016, with increases in attacks motivated by bias against blacks, Jews, Muslims and LGBT people, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics released on Monday.

The hate crimes recorded past year included nine murders and 24 rapes, the report said. "Further, the suspect of the crime must be shown to have specifically targeted an individual or group because of an actual or perceived characteristic such as race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation".

The second most frequent kind of hate crime, 21.1 percent of incidents, were caused by bias against religious affiliations. Anti-Jewish incidents rose by 3 percent, while anti-Muslim incidents rose by 20 percent.

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On Monday, Sessions said the Justice Department is awaiting a full report from a task force on steps it can take to improve training for prosecutors and investigators, boost data collection on hate crimes and partner with local officials and communities. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year.

"There's a risky disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported", said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A Greenblatt, who called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to address underreporting. That's down from 43 in 2015 and 51 in 2014.

Singh said it will be hard for the country to mobilise political will and resources necessary to address the issue if law enforcement agencies fail to document true extent of hate crimes.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said.

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About 58 percent of the hate crimes were motivated by race, with about half the incidents targeting black Americans.

There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with nearly two-thirds of those targeting gay men. The plurality of the remainder, 44.7 percent of overall incidents, were for intimidation.

"I was pleased to learn on November 3, 2017 that the trial resulted in a conviction, and the man now faces life in prison", Sessions said of the Johnson case in his response to the report.

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