For the first time, Canada has placed right-wing extremist groups on the national list of terrorist organizations.
Public Safety Canada says Blood & Honour, an international neo-Nazi network, and its armed branch, Combat 18, have been added to the roster, opening the door to stiff criminal sanctions.
They join more than 50 other organizations on the list including al-Qaida, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Boko Haram and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
A group on Canada’s terrorist list may have their assets seized, and there are criminal penalties for helping listed organizations carry out extremist activities.
Blood & Honour, founded in Britain in 1987, has established branches throughout Europe, executing violent attacks there and in North America.
In its listing notice, Public Safety says members of Blood & Honour and Combat 18 firebombed a building occupied mostly by Romani families, including children, in the Czech Republic in 2012.
In addition, four Blood & Honour members in Tampa, Fla., were convicted in 2012 of the 1998 murder of two homeless men who were killed because the group considered them “inferior,” the department says.
The new listings came as Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced up to $1 million in federal funding to create a digital repository meant to help smaller online companies prevent dissemination of violent extremist content.
Canada will also support a youth summit on countering violent online activity.
“This event will bring young people together to learn about violent extremism and terrorism online, and develop effective tools to push back against this content and discourage its sharing,” Public Safety said Wednesday.
Representatives from technology companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and Google, will help shape the event and work directly with young people to develop ideas.
The Canadian Press