Canadian police raid rural properties linked to ‘extreme’ neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on Thursday that officers had executed two search warrants in rural Quebec with alleged ties to the Atomwaffen Division, a terrorist group that a watchdog called “some of the most extreme neo-Nazis on the landscape today.” About 60 officers descended on the small towns of Saint-Ferdinand and Plessisville in what a mounted police corporal called a “national security operation”, although he added that no arrest was not planned. The scale of the operation indicates “there is likely to be a large amount of digital material to recover,” according to Elizabeth Simons, deputy director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, a watchdog group. Simons called members of the Atomwaffen Division “hyper-violent” in a recent interview with the Montreal Gazette. “They believe that any chaos and violence they may commit will hasten this societal collapse,” she added. The Atomwaffen division was founded in the United States in 2013, where it has been linked to at least five deaths. Its ideology quickly spread north and it was listed as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government in early 2021. Thursday’s raids bring a crescendo to an investigation that began more than two years ago, according to the CBC.

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Maria R. Newman