"There has been a significant growth in white supremacist hate groups, on the order of something like 50 percent since the year 2000," director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project Mark Potok said on"Good Morning America" Thursday. "So, yeah, there is a heating up going on out there, and the Obama factor has been important."
Both de Nugent and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and their activity across the country, noticed an escalation in von Brunn's rhetoric.
"He was advocating direct action, that the time for talk was over," de Nugent said. "And I think he was pushed over the edge by current events and his own personality."
"His rhetoric really has been heating up. We've seen some evidence of that ourselves," Potok said, referring to a 2007 posting on a white supremacist site attributed to von Brunn that seemed to call for action.
The center said Wednesday that von Brunn had long been associated with neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. The group had also flagged his Web site because of its content.
The "politically incorrect opinions" on the site include excerpts of von Brunn's book, "Tob Shebbe Goyim Harog," or "Kill the Best Gentiles."
The book is described on the site as "the culmination of his life's work" and "a new, hard-hitting expose of the 'Jew Conspiracy' to destroy the White gene-pool."
The site also touted von Brunn's military and intellectual accomplishments. The U.S. Navy confirmed Thursday that von Brunn served from 1943 to 1946. A Navy official said he earned several awards and decorations, including recognition for his WWII service.
On his Web site, von Brunn also claimed membership in high-I.Q. society Mensa. The organization confirmed that he was a member 20 years ago, but for less than a year.
The biography also highlights a 1981 incident, described as his attempt "to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, nonviolent, citizens arrest."
Archive media reports from the time of the incident and von Brunn's trial say he armed himself with a revolver, sawed-off shotgun and a hunting knife before he entered the Federal Reserve Board's headquarters.
The incident was reportedly an attempt to focus media attention on the nation's economic woes and high interest rates set by the Fed.
Potok said it's "remarkable that there is a subculture in this country, of literally thousands and thousands of people who believe things like the Federal Reserve Board is really an entity secretly controlled for the benefit of Jewish bankers, etc., etc., etc."
A jury convicted von Brunn on a litany of charges, from attempted kidnapping to assault and possession of a prohibited weapon.
On the site, he claims he was "tried in a Washington, D.C., Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for 11 years by a Jew judge." According to Bureau of Prisons records, von Brunn left prison in September 1989.
The criminal complaint said Missouri native von Brunn has for the past two years rented a room in the Annapolis, Md. apartment a son shares with his fiance.
Johns had worked at the museum for six years, and has been, along with the other security staff, praised as a hero by museum, law enforcement and political officials.