Source: St. Petersburg Times
On August 30, 2002 St. Petersburg Times reported "hate crimes in Florida increased by 24 percent last year, with the surge tied to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the backlash against Middle Eastern immigrants and Muslim places of worship. 'If it hadn't been for Sept. 11, we would have seen another overall decrease this year,' said Attorney General Bob Butterworth. 'Generally I'm encouraged by the pattern... But as everyone knows, Sept. 11 changed a lot of things.' Law enforcement officials said many threats intended for immigrants from the Middle East were misdirected toward American-born Muslims and, in some cases against Hispanics and people of other ethnic backgrounds."