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Three Percenters, neo-Nazi group added to Canada’s terrorist list

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The federal government has added the Three Percenters movement to its list of terrorist entities, an anti-government group linked to a recent bomb plot in the U.S. with a known presence in Canada.

It’s one of four entities added to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities today.

The Three Percenters, named after a debated theory that only three per cent of Americans took up arms and served in George Washington’s Colonial Army in the American Revolution against the British, say their main goals are to protect the right to bear arms, defend against an “overreaching government” and “push back against tyranny.”

In explaining why they were added, Canadian officials speaking on background said they’ve gathered enough evidence to add the group to the list.

In materials provided to reporters, the government referenced two of the group’s leaders’ role in a 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a plan which allegedly involved detonating explosives and public executions of public officials by hanging them on live television.

Members of the Kentucky Three Percenters Militia line up as members and supporters of an all-black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. July 25, 2020. The Canadian government has now listed the group as a terrorist entity. (Bryan Woolston/Reuters)

Canadian officials also cited a case of a member shooting and wounding five men at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Minnesota in 2015.

Three Percenters are known to have chapters in Canada.

Financial implications

Another ideologically motivated violent extremist group, Aryan Strikeforce, was also added today.

The U.K-founded neo-Nazi group, with contacts in Canada, aims to carry out violent activities to overthrow governments, start a race war, and eradicate ethnic minorities, said officials. 

Canada has added an American neo-Nazi named James Mason, accused of providing ideological and tactical instruction on how to operate a terrorist group to its listed entities and an affiliate of the Islamic State in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A group is added to the terrorist list if Canada’s security and intelligence agencies, after an “extremely rigorous” probe, find “reasonable grounds to believe that an entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity,” the government said in announcing the new designations.

It is not necessarily a crime to be a member of these groups, but designating an organization as a terrorist entity can have serious criminal and financial consequences.

Banks can now freeze assets and police can charge anyone who financially or materially supports such a group.

Under Section 83 of the Criminal Code, it is an indictable offence to collect property, “provide or invite a person to provide, or make available property or financial or other related services,” to a terrorist entity.

“Recent events should remove any doubts about the serious threat posed by ideologically motivated violent extremism,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

“Intolerance and hate have no place in our society and the government of Canada will continue to do all we can to keep Canadians safe from all threats, including terrorism and violent extremism.”

These additions mean there are now 77 terrorist entities listed under the Criminal Code.

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