Terror charge laid against Canadian teen over alleged ties to neo-Nazi group

May 6 2022, 7:07 pm

A teenager in Windsor, Ontario, is facing a terrorism charge on allegations he participated in a neo-Nazi group, police say.

The Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) charged 19-year-old Seth Bertrand with “participating in or contributing to the activity of a terrorist group,” according to a statement from RCMP.

He apparently filed an online application to join the white nationalist group Atomwaffen Division, also known as the National Socialist Order, which the federal government listed as a terrorist group last year.

“Founded in the United States in 2013, the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) is an international neo-Nazi terror group, which has since expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere,” says a statement from the federal government.

It calls for “acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and informants, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society.”

According to a blog post by Michael Nesbitt, professor of law at the University of Calgary, the majority of terrorism charges in Canada to date have been laid in association with well-known groups such as ISIS.

Only a few cases differ, Nesbitt writes, including two associated with the Incel (involuntary celibate) ideology and the London, Ontario, attack where a driver is accused of striking and killing four members of a Muslim family.

The Windsor teen’s terror charge is the first related to a neo-Nazi group, Nesbitt told The Globe and Mail. 

Bertrand was officially charged with “participating in or contributing to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, contrary to Section 83.18(1) of the Criminal Code.”

And the charge was laid following an investigation between INSET, the Windsor Police Service, and the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Terrorism Section.

“Between February 12 and May 20, 2021, an individual committed various hate-motivated offences in the Windsor area,” says the statement, adding Bertrand “offered his skills and commitment to do things for this listed terrorist entity.”

Inspector Cheryl Brunet-Smith with the O Division Integrated National Security Enforcement Team said the success of the operation is thanks to strong partnerships between intelligence groups. 

“Along with our partners, the Windsor Police Service and OPP PATS, the RCMP remains committed to and stands fast against ideologically motivated violent extremists who threaten the public safety of all Canadians,” she said. 

The RCMP O Division declined an interview request from Daily Hive Vancouver in an email sent on May 6.

“As the matter is now before the courts, it would be inappropriate for the RCMP to provide further comments,” it said.

Daily Hive Vancouver has reached out to Nesbitt and will update this article.

To report non-immediate threats to national security, contact the RCMP tip line at 1-800-420-5805. For immediate threats, call 911 or your local police department.

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