Prominent neo-Nazi propagandist arrested in Canada: Police

Canada says first time individual charged with ‘both terrorism and hate propaganda’ for advocating violent ideology.

Screen shot from a neo-Nazi propoganda picture
Screen shot from a neo-Nazi propaganda video [Royal Canadian Mounted Police]

Canada has arrested two men in connection with their involvement with a “terrorist group … linked to neo-Nazi ideology,” according to authorities.

Among those arrested was Patrick Gordon Macdonald, 26, who allegedly helped produce propaganda for the group.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said, “The case is the first in Canada in which an individual advocating a violent far-right ideology has been charged with both terrorism and hate propaganda.”

A second person was arrested in Kingsey Falls, Quebec and “may face charges at a later date”, according to the statement.

Macdonald allegedly supported the Atomwaffen Division, an accelerationist neo-Nazi group originally formed in the United States. Accelerationism is the belief that various extreme measures – including violence – are needed to force the swift collapse of society and put in place a new order of power.

The group takes its name from the German word for “nuclear weapons” and promotes violence to overthrow governments, “foment a race war, and establish a new society based on principles of national socialism and white supremacism”, according to Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

The group is also known for “calls for acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and informants, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society”, according to Public Safety Canada.

The group has “held training camps, also known as hate camps, where its members receive weapons and hand-to-hand combat training”, according to the Canadian agency, which noted the Atomwaffen Division is also active in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

According to the mounted police statement released on Wednesday, Macdonald was charged with participating in the activity of a terrorist group, facilitating terrorist activity and the willful promotion of hatred.

Among the items produced by Macdonald to support the neo-Nazi group were three “terrorist propaganda videos”.

“This material was intended to promote the group and recruit members, and encourages the commission of terrorist activities,” the statement said.

Vice News had previously identified Macdonald in 2021 as a prolific neo-Nazi propagandist who went by the online moniker “Dark Foreigner”.

The news organisation reported that Macdonald, at the time, lived in suburban Ottawa with his parents.

From there, his propaganda art “helped define the aesthetics of a terrorist movement that has worried law enforcement agencies around the world”, Vice reported.

The news organisation also reported that Macdonald actively tried to grow the Atomwaffen Division, including travelling internationally to meet other neo-Nazis overseas.

Macdonald was set to appear in court in Ottawa later on Wednesday.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies