Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale
The federal government has added two neo-Nazi organizations to its list of banned terrorist groups.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced on June 26 that Blood & Honour (B&H), along with its armed branch, Combat 18 (C18), will be listed as terrorist groups. They are the first far-right extremist groups to be included on Canada’s terror list.
“We have increasing concern about ultra-right-wing extremism leading to violence,” Goodale said. Putting these groups on the list “is a clear signal that we are very alert to this type of extremist violence, as we try to be alert to every type of extremist violence, and are prepared to take the appropriate steps to keep Canadians safe.”
He said the dangers posed by far-right groups have been evident in recent years in the United States, New Zealand and Quebec City.
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“Small toxic segments of society continue to peddle vile, hateful intolerance,” he said at a news conference in Regina. “We need to be alert to it in all its forms, and work relentlessly to confront it and stop it and prevent it from extracting the horrific toll that we’ve witnessed recently.”
Including the groups on the terror list will “help to facilitate the laying of terrorism charges against perpetrators and supporters of terrorism,” Goodale added. “It will also help block the financial resources to terrorist groups when such groups use Canada’s financial system.”
According to the federal government, B&H is an international neo-Nazi network “whose ideology is derived from the National Socialist doctrine of Nazi Germany.” Through its armed branch, Combat 18, the group has carried out murders and bombings.
It was founded in the United Kingdom in 1987 and grew during the 1990s, establishing branches throughout Europe by the end of the decade, according to the Canadian government. B&H attacks have occurred in North America and in several European countries.
Fatemiyoun Division fighters gather outside Palmyra, Syria, in 2010. (Tasnim News Agency/CC BY 4.0)
In January 2012, four B&H members in Tampa, Fla., were convicted of the 1998 murder of two homeless men. The following month, members of B&H and C18 firebombed a building occupied mostly by Roma families, including children, in the Czech Republic.
Goodale also announced $1 million in funding for a United Nations initiative called Tech Against Terrorism, which helps tech companies detect the presence of terrorist content online and remove the material quickly from their servers.
Canada also will host a youth summit this summer on countering online hate, Goodale said.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) commended the government.
Small toxic segments of society continue to peddle vile, hateful intolerance.– Ralph Goodale
“We cannot be complacent about the presence in Canada of neo-Nazi groups like Blood & Honour and its armed branch, Combat 18,” said CIJA’s CEO, Shimon Koffler Fogel. Adding them to Canada’s list of terror groups “will ensure fewer resources go to their nefarious activities,” he added.
Three other groups linked to the Iranian regime – Al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB), Fatemiyoun Division (FD) and Harakat al-Sabireen (HaS) – were also added to the list of terrorist groups.
The Canadian government claims that AAB is supported by Tehran and is trying to overthrow the government of Bahrain. It has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks in the country.
HaS, which is also supported by Iran, operates out of Gaza and has been responsible for firing rockets into Israel and targeting IDF patrols.
FD is an Afghan militia that fights alongside government forces in Syria, under the command of Iranian officers.
“For many years, we have called for actions that send a clear and direct message to Tehran that it will be held to account for past and future sponsorship of terrorist activities. The Iranian regime must also cease its genocidal calls for the destruction of Israel,” said Fogel.