Canada puts U.S. Three Percenters militia on terror list, cites risk of violent extremism

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A militia member with body armor and a Three Percent militia patch stands in Stone Mountain as various militia groups stage rallies at Stone Mountain, Georgia, U.S. August 15, 2020. REUTERS/Dustin Chambers/File Photo

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OTTAWA, June 25 (Reuters) - Canada officially named the U.S. right-wing militia group Three Percenters a terrorist entity on Friday, saying it posed a "significant threat" to Canadian domestic security.

Earlier this month U.S. prosecutors obtained a conspiracy indictment against six men associated with the Three Percenters, the latest in a series of such charges arising from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters. read more

Canadian officials cited the Jan. 6 riot in their listing. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the group had an active presence in Canada and were interested in recruiting members of the police and people with military training.

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"We monitor their activities in Canada with growing concern," he told a news conference.

Ottawa also put leading neo-Nazi activist James Mason and British group Aryan Strikeforce on the list on Friday.

Earlier this month a man rammed his truck into a Muslim family in the city of London, Ontario, killing four of them, in what police called a racist attack. read more

"Recent events should remove any doubts about the serious threat posed by ideologically motivated violent extremism. ... Intolerance and hate have no place in our society," said Blair.

Founded in 2008, the Three Percenters is a loosely organized anti-government group that takes its name from the idea that only 3% of American colonists took up arms against the British in the 18th-century American Revolution.

The group's assets can now be frozen by banks and financial institutions, and it is a crime for Canadians to knowingly deal with assets of a listed entity. Anyone belonging to such a group can be blocked from entering Canada.

In February, Canada named the far-right Proud Boys a terrorist entity, saying it posed a "pivotal role" in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. read more

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Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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Thomson Reuters

Covers Canadian political, economic and general news as well as breaking news across North America, previously based in London and Moscow and a winner of Reuters’ Treasury scoop of the year.