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The Department of Homeland Security was reportedly investigating claims that Loughner, described as a cannabis-smoking loner, was linked to American Renaissance – an extremist anti-government, anti-immigration and anti-Semitic group.
...The tragedy shocked Washington and prompted soul-searching over the degree to which the aggressively polarised state of U.S. politics might have motivated the gunman.
Arizona has epitomised the bitter partisan divide, particularly after ruling conservatives introduced a law last summer to tackle illegal immigration which some Democrats said was eroding civil liberties.