2 Ontario men charged after allegedly producing recruitment videos for listed terrorist entity
An Active Club Network event in Durham region can be seen above in a handout provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (RCMP)
Published Friday, December 8, 2023 12:39PM EST
Two men from Ontario have been arrested on charges of terrorism after allegedly producing recruitment videos for a listed terrorist organization and circulating far-right manifestos online, police say.
The arrests come after an 18-month investigation conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team which saw warrants executed in the Niagara and Toronto region.
Police said in a news release on Friday that the warrants uncovered substantial evidence, including far-right manifestos circulated on Telegram as well as video made in an effort to recruit individuals to an organization called Atomwaffen Division (AWD).
That organization, police say, is an “international neo-Nazi terror group” which has called “for acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society.”
One of those individuals is facing eight charges, including three counts of commission of hate crimes offences for a terrorist group and two counts of participation in the activities of a terrorist group.
The other individual was charged with one count of participating in the activities of a terrorist group.
In 2021, AWD, an international neo-Nazi terror group, originating out of the United States, was designated as a terrorist entity by the Canadian government.
The RCMP said in their release that, following that designation, many members of AWD joined an organization called the Canadian branch of Active Club Network.
According to police, Active Club Network serves as “a decentralized cell of white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups."
"The network was created in January 2021 and it promotes mixed martial arts to fight against what it asserts is a system that is targeting the white race, as well as a "warrior spirit" to prepare for a forthcoming race war," the release states.
As part of its investigation, the RCMP said members of the network, alongside members of a related local group called the Hammerskins, have been observed performing combat training exercises in Durham region community parks.
On Friday, they released images of one such gathering.
Earlier this year, the RCMP charged another Ontario man with terror offences for the alleged creation of AWD materials. At the time, police said he was the first Canadian to be charged with terrorism related to far-right propaganda.