Canadian federal police Thursday raided two properties south of Quebec City believed to be linked to an international neo-Nazi extremist group based in the United States.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) posted images on Twitter of heavily-armed officers conducting searches of an apartment in the town of St-Ferdinand and a large building on a rural property near Plessisville in the mostly French-speaking province.
“Investigation targeting individuals with suspected ties to the Atomwaffen Division terrorist group,” said a caption.
RCMP Sergeant Charles Poirier told AFP more than 60 officers were involved in executing search warrants at these locations.
“No arrests have been made,” he said. “I expect that whatever was found at these sites will lead to further police actions. For now, our national security investigation is continuing.”
Poirier added that “several suspects” were being targeted in the probe that was launched in 2020.
According to the Public Safety department’s website, the group “calls for acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and informants, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society.”
It is known to also hold training camps where members receive weapons and hand-to-hand combat training, it says.
Canada only three years ago started targeting far-right organizations with sanctions for promoting violent extremist views, following a spate of attacks including the shooting of three Moncton police officers, the killing of worshippers at a Quebec City mosque and a van attack in Toronto.
The Atomwaffen (Atomic Weapons) Division — which was founded in the United States in 2015 — was added to Canada’s list of banned terrorist groups last year.
A 19-year-old Ontario man was charged with terrorism in May after seeking to join the group.
One month earlier, German federal prosecutors announced charges against a minor that shares the group’s violent ideology for attempting to set off a “race war” in Germany with planned attacks using explosives and guns.
In the United States, several of its members have been jailed for threatening journalists and activists campaigning against anti-Semitism and racism.