Toronto: In a first such instance in Canada, law enforcement has applied terrorism-related charges against a person linked to a Neo-Nazi outfit.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said, “This case is the first in Canada in which an individual advocating a violent far-right ideology has been charged with both terrorism and hate propaganda.”
The person allegedly involved in such activity was identified as 26-year-old Patrick Gordon Macdonald from Ottawa.
The charges he faces are related to participating in activity of a terrorist group, facilitating terrorist activity, and commission of offence for terrorist group (wilful promotion of hatred).
In April 2020, the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) received information “on individuals allegedly involved in the activities of the terrorist group Atomwaffen Division, linked to neo-Nazi ideology”. The ensuing investigation resulted in the arrest of two individuals, Macdonald, and another from Kingsley Falls in Quebec, who has not been named. The RCMP release said the second individual may face charges at a later date.
The release said that according to the investigation, Macdonald “allegedly helped produce propaganda material for the benefit of the terrorist entity Atomwaffen Division”. He also allegedly participated in and facilitated the creation, production and distribution of three terrorist propaganda videos and this material was intended to promote the group and recruit members, and encourages the commission of terrorist activities.
The RCMP said it “remains committed to countering ideologically motivated violent extremism”.
The Atomwaffen Division, listed in 2021, is also known as AWD, National Socialist Order and NSO. According to the listing description from Public Safety Canada it was founded in the United States in 2013, and is an international neo-Nazi terror group, which has since expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere. The group calls for acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and informants, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society.
The currently listed terrorist entities include groups like Al Qaida, Boko Haram, Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Taliban as well as the Khalistani outfits Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation, among others.