2021-06-30 15:25:48 Canada Designates More US Extremists As Terrorists
Canada Designates More US Extremists As Terrorists
Canada’s government added more American neo-Nazis to its list of banned terrorist organizations on Friday, indicating that the country is going further than the United States in recognizing such white supremacist extremists as threats.
The additions come after Canada designated the Proud Boys and other far-right extremist groups based in the United States as terrorists in February.
Among the newly prohibited groups are:
The Three Percenters are an anti-government militant group from the United States with a growing presence in Canada. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the group’s name is derived from the dubious historical claim that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the Revolutionary War. At least six members of the group have been charged in connection with the attack on the US Capitol on January 6. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, citing materials given to reporters at a press conference, the Canadian government mentioned the roles of two members in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year.
James Mason, a neo-Nazi from Colorado who has advocated for lone-actor attacks against the US government in order to foment a white revolution. Mason has also shared tactical guidance on how to run terrorist organizations and is the author of a 1980s manual that is popular among extremists worldwide. Mason’s ties to the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, whose members have been linked to several killings, were also noted by the Canadian government.
The Aryan Strikeforce is a white supremacist group based in the United Kingdom with chapters in Canada and the United States that advocates for violence to overthrow governments and start a race war.
A branch of ISIS based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In a statement, Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said the designations are an important tool for authorities to use in keeping up with evolving threats and global trends.
“Recent events should dispel any doubts about the serious threat that ideologically motivated violent extremism poses,” Blair said. “Intolerance and hatred have no place in our society, and the Government of Canada will continue to do everything possible to protect Canadians from all threats, including terrorism and violent extremism.”
When a group or individual is designated as a “terrorist entity” under Canadian federal law, it is illegal for people to join and collaborate with the groups. It also gives the government the authority to seize the assets of anyone associated with the groups and charge anyone who financially or materially supports them. It may also make it easier for authorities to have banned extremists’ online content removed.
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Following the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, Canada declared four far-right or white supremacist groups to be terrorist entities, the first time such groups had been listed. Atomwaffen Division, the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist street fighting group, The Base, a white supremacist accelerationist outfit, and the far-right nationalist Russian Imperial Movement were among them. In the FBI’s investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, approximately two dozen people associated with the Proud Boys have been charged.
President Joe Biden has stated that white supremacist violent extremists are the most pressing threat to the United States today, calling them a “stain on the soul of America.” The White House released a plan to combat domestic terrorism earlier this month, which calls for more analysts, prosecutors, and agents, but stops short of suggesting new laws be enacted to help.
One reason the US hasn’t gone as far as Canada in designating US and foreign extremist groups as terrorist entities is a lack of specific laws outlining domestic terrorism. Another factor is that the standard for such a title is extremely high. The Russian Imperialist Movement is the only far-right extremist group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
On a call with BuzzFeed News and other reporters earlier this month, a senior Biden administration official, speaking on the record, stated that discussions about any new domestic terrorism laws were ongoing and that no decisions had been made prior to the release of the White House’s new plan.
“We concluded that we did not yet have the evidentiary basis to decide whether we wanted to proceed in that direction or whether we have sufficient authority at the federal level,” the official said.