RCMP conducts raids on neo-Nazi groups

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday conducted two searches in two communities in Centre-du-Québec as part of an investigation into a neo-Nazi terrorist group.

Investigators from the integrated national security team therefore searched an apartment on Rue de la Coopérative in Plessisville, as well as an apartment behind the church on Route de Vianney in Saint-Ferdinand, unless about twenty kilometers further away.

Photo AGENCY QMI, Frédéric Marcoux

The investigation, which began in 2020, is targeting people suspected of being linked to the Terrorist Group Atomic Weapons Division, the RCMP said on its Twitter account on Thursday morning.

“We are conducting the two searches and based on the evidence we have gathered it is possible that there will be further police action after that,” Corporal Tasha Adams told us at the scene in Saint-Ferdinand. In addition to the Tactical Intervention Group (GTI) and our dog handler service, around 60 police officers were deployed, including several from the RCMP.

Corporal Adams would not give us the number of people connected to the investigation and searches in the area. There were no arrests by mid-afternoon.

Atomwaffe Division is a neo-Nazi terrorist network founded in the United States in 2015. The German word “atomwaffe” means “atomic weapons” in English.

The group, believed to be involved in numerous acts of violence and hate crimes, has members in the UK, Germany, other European countries and Canada, where it was added to the list of terrorist organizations in February 2021.

Photo AGENCY QMI, Frédéric Marcoux

In Saint-Ferdinand, the community of just over 3,000 residents was surprised when the RCMP showed up on national security grounds. The sought-after location, a former elementary school converted into a residence, is located next to the church in the Vianney district of Saint-Ferdinand.

“It’s a bit surreal what’s happening in our community,” said Mayor Yves Charlebois. Suspected terrorists are not expected to be in our community. We all know each other.”

“When I saw the police action, I thought it was for a designer drug lab,” he added. When I was told it had something to do with terrorism, I wasn’t expecting it at all. […]. she is a lady […] who lives in this house with his son. They are people without a story.”

For his part, Stéphane Daigle, a resident of the area, witnessed the scene around 9am on Thursday morning. He was working outside but was returning home as a precaution when he saw police disembark with heavy artillery.

“I thought this morning it was a family conflict,” said Mr. Daigle. I saw the police coming from all sides and from all sides. They circled the place with a snap of their fingers […]. It’s more serious than I could have imagined. It really is nonsense that such a case should happen to Saint-Ferdinand. I wonder where we’re going because it’s starting to get scary.”

“We don’t know much about the lady who lives there, we only know her nickname,” he added. We knew we had a neighbor, that’s not all.

The search took place in a residential building in Plessisville. During our visit, the police were present outside while others were busy inside.

– In collaboration with Jean-François Desbiens, TVA Nouvelles

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