Canada has added to its list of terrorist organizations a neo-Nazi group and its “armed branch,” the first time the country has classified white supremacists that way.
Blood and Honour and Combat 18 were labeled terrorist entities last Friday, joining about 60 groups that include al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State. Under the designation, the groups could have their assets seized and organizations that aid in the terrorist activities would be subject to criminal penalties.
The Canadian government described Blood and Honour as “an international neo-Nazi network whose ideology is derived from the National Socialist doctrine of Nazi Germany” and referred to Combat 18 as Blood and Honour’s “armed branch.”
Blood and Honour was founded in England in 1987 by Ian Stuart Donaldson, the lead singer of a hate rock band. The group takes its name from the slogan of the Hitler Youth movement, and its chapters and associated groups have carried out murders and bombings throughout the world.
In 1998, four members of a Tampa, Florida chapter of Blood and Honour killed two homeless men in that state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In February 2012, members of Blood and Honour and Combat 18 firebombed a building in the Czech Republic that housed mostly Romani families.
Canada’s terror designation comes as the country appears to be ramping up its fight against terrorism and extremism.
Also Friday, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) cited right-wing terrorism as a threat to the country’s national security and said it was increasing resources to understand it.
On Wednesday, Canada announced initiatives to crack down on terrorist and violent extremist content online. The government committed up to $1 million for a platform to help companies detect and remove extremist content. It also said it would hold a youth summit on countering online extremism, with input from companies like Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook and Google.