Canada Designates More American Extremists as Terrorists

Canada Designates More American Extremists as Terrorists

The Canadian government on Friday added more American neo-Nazis to its list of banned terrorist groups, yet another sign that the country is moving beyond the United States when it comes to recognizing such white supremacist extremists as threats.

The additions follow Canada’s designation of the Proud Boys and other US-based far-right extremist groups as terrorists in February.

The newly banned groups include:

  • The Three Percenters, an American militant anti-government group with a growing presence in Canada. The group’s name, according to the Anti-Defamation League, stems from the dubious historical claim that only 3% of American settlers fought the British in the Revolutionary War. At least six members of the group have been charged in the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. Citing material given to reporters at a press conference, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said the Canadian government was referring to the role of two members in the plot to kidnap Michigan government Gretchen Whitmer last year.
  • James Mason, a Colorado neo-Nazi who has advocated lone attacks on the US government to fuel a white revolution. Mason has also provided tactical instruction on how to lead terrorist groups and is the author of an 1980s manual that is popular among extremists around the world. The Canadian government also noted that Mason has ties to the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, whose members have been linked to several murders.
  • The Aryan Strikeforce, a UK-based white supremacist group with branches in Canada and the US that advocates violence to overthrow governments and start a race war.
  • An ISIS affiliate based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said in a statement the designations are an important tool to help authorities keep pace with evolving threats and global trends.

“Recent events should dispel any doubt about the grave threat posed by ideologically motivated violent extremism,” Blair said. “Intolerance and hatred have no place in our society and the Government of Canada will continue to do everything it can to protect Canadians from all threats, including terrorism and violent extremism.”

Designating a group or individual as a “terrorist entity” under Canadian federal law makes it illegal for people to join and collaborate with the groups. It also gives the government the power to freeze the assets of people involved in the groups and charge anyone who supports them financially or materially. It could also make it easier for authorities to remove online content posted by the banned extremists.

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In the wake of the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, Canada decided to declare four far-right or white supremacist groups as terrorist entities, marking the first time it had listed such groups. Those include Atomwaffen Division, the neo-fascist street-fighting group the Proud Boys, the white supremacist accelerator group The Base and the far-right nationalist Russian Imperial movement. About two dozen people associated with the Proud Boys have been charged in the FBI’s investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol bombing.

President Joe Biden has said white racist violent extremists are the most pressing threat to the US today, calling them a “blemish on America’s soul.” Earlier this month, the White House released a plan to fight domestic terrorism, calling for reinforcements from analysts, prosecutors and agents, but doesn’t stop proposing new laws to help.

The lack of specific laws describing domestic terrorism is one of the reasons the US has not gone as far as Canada in designating US and foreign extremist groups as terrorist entities. Another is that the bar for such a designation is extremely high. The US has designated only one far-right extremist group, the Russian imperialist movement, as a terrorist group.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News and other reporters earlier this month, a senior Biden administration official, speaking in the background, said there were discussions about possible new domestic terrorism laws and no decisions had been made before the publication of the report. new White House plan.

“We concluded that we did not yet have the evidence to decide whether we wanted to move in that direction or whether we have sufficient powers as currently exist at the federal level,” the official said.

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