Quebec RCMP searching properties allegedly connected to neo-Nazi terrorist group

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PLESSISVILLE, Que. — RCMP announced Thursday they were searching properties southwest of Quebec City that are allegedly connected to a neo-Nazi terrorist group.

The police said on Twitter that their investigation targeted individuals with suspected ties to the Atomwaffen Division, which is listed by the federal government as a terror group.

Quebec RCMP Sgt. Charles Poirier said officers carried out search warrants in St-Ferdinand and Plessisville, which are located between Montreal and Quebec City, as part of an investigation dating back to 2020.

Photos posted online by the RCMP showed heavily armed officers outside various buildings.

Poirier said there was no threat to public safety, but he added that an emergency response team was dispatched because of "the nature of the group," which advocates for acts of violence.

The federal Public Safety Department says Atomwaffen Division was founded in the United States in 2013 and has since expanded to other countries, including Canada. It has been listed as a terrorist group in Canada since 2021.

The department's website says the group, which is also known as the National Socialist Order or NSO, calls for "acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups," as well against as informants, police, and bureaucrats, "to prompt the collapse of society."

The group has carried out violent acts at public rallies, including in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, the government site states.

A 19-year-old man from Windsor, Ont., was charged with terrorism in May after allegedly filing an application online to join the Atomwaffen Division and offering his skills and commitment to the group.

Poirier said Thursday's investigation is part of the RCMP's national security criminal investigations program, but he said he did not know whether the Quebec searches are connected to last month's arrest in Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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