Group with ties to Oklahoma arrest has Sask. chapter

By CKOM News Staff
August 15, 2017 - 2:57pm

With extremist right-wing groups taking a grim spotlight in the U.S., some are asking if similar organizations are operating in Canada.

The RCMP keeps an eye on several groups will small followings across the country, listing them on an information page as organizations to be wary of.

Listed on the page are well-known groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Golden Dawn, as well as lesser-known entities “Hammerskins Nation” and “Aryan Guard.”

“It is important to understand that these groups have few members and that the members often change groups or belong to several groups at the same time,” the RCMP writes on the page, which also lists left-wing groups like the Animal Liberation Front and Anarchy.

RCMP have not responded to a request for comment on extremist groups being monitored in Saskatchewan.

Another group starting to catch the eye of observers is III%, which has a small following in Saskatchewan alongside larger chapters in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Vice News Reporter Mack Lamoureux conducted an eight-month investigation into the group in Alberta.

“Overtly, this is not a white nationalist group,” he said.

“But this is a group that talks about white genocide, which is a ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ to white supremacy.”

The III% group started as a paramilitary organization in the U.S., named after a myth suggesting only three per cent of Americans fought in the revolutionary war leading to independence from Britain.

The group began forming in Canada after the election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, quickly transforming into an anti-Islam group.

“They’ve self-admittedly been monitoring mosques and Muslim figures in Calgary,” Lamoureux said.

The reporter added while there are larger presences in other provinces, the Saskatchewan membership of the group is fairly small.

A closed Facebook group for the provincial chapter boasts 136 members, which Lamoureux said likely means their active membership is closer to 30 people.

“A group for proud Canadian patriots who advocate for a Canadian way of life, for traditional morals and values for this country,” the group’s description writes. “Only fire if fired upon.”

Lamoureux said there’s concern the extreme views of the III% could lead to isolated attacks.

“The danger doesn’t come with the group as a whole being violent,” he said.

“The danger comes with them inspiring a lone wolf … where they believe the group isn’t going far enough.”

The recent arrest of a III% member in Oklahoma may be an example of just that.

FBI said a man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to blow up a bank in Oklahoma City with a van he thought was carrying a 1,000-pound bomb.

The “bomb” was inert thanks to an undercover agent who acted as a co-conspirator, the bureau said.

Lamoureux said the man charged, Jerry Drake Varnell, was an active member of the Oklahoma chapter of III%.

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