This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
This project was in collaboration with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
An underground neo-Nazi terror cell, one linked to five murders in the United States, is organized and active in Canada.
VICE has learned Northern Order—an until now “phantom” white power organization in Canada—is not only an affiliate of Atomwaffen Division with approximately ten members within the country, but is coordinating its efforts with the violent US-based neo-Nazi terror group. VICE previously revealed that the cell’s chief propagandist, a graphic designer who goes by the name Dark Foreigner, was a Canadian based in Ontario.
Furthermore, one member is openly planning to create a hideout and European ethnostate in rural British Columbia favoring exclusively white settlers.
In leaked chats, a key member going by the name “Alba” (who was at one point based somewhere in the Windsor, Nova Scotia area) who acts as an in-between for Atomwaffen and Northern Order, says he’s optimistic about “building a self-sufficient IRL community in rural British Columbia homes, agriculture, basic businesses etc. to be a life raft when it all goes down. Similar to what Craig Cobb tried to do without all the retarded fanfare.”
Craig Cobb is an American Canadian white nationalist and neo-Nazi leader who infamously attempted to create a white supremacist settlement in Leith, North Dakota in 2012. He failed in his efforts and was arrested on terrorism charges, but was released on a plea agreement in 2014. John Cameron Denton, the leader of Atomwaffen who goes by “Rape” in secret networks, advocates for a similar white supremacist stronghold.
Alba claims to be a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, while other members of the neo-Nazi movement in Canada, speaking on various forums, seek out the same military training as a way to learn insurgency tactics. VICE has tracked his online activities on various white supremacist chat logs.
Within the far-right ecosystem, Atomwaffen’s operational security differentiates itself from other more public groups. It tends to favor the shadows, unlike the rallies or publicity stunts of far-right groups like the Soldiers of Odin—instead, preparing and planning violent actions using encrypted apps and restricted chat rooms without publicly identifying themselves. Members use codenames, never personally identifying themselves and frequently take preventative measures to avoid being doxxed.
They operate more closely to Islamist extremist groups. Members undergo secretive paramilitary training and aggressively use social media and memes as a recruitment tool to propagate its mission.
And, much like al Qaeda or ISIS, which it oddly venerates in various postings, the group openly discusses targeting and killing journalists who they consider enemies to their white supremacist agenda.
In addition to the objectives of the Northern Order, VICE has found several parallel movements across various social media accounts of Canadian patriot groups with a strong white supremacist ideology, also advocating for an ethnostate in British Columbia. Some of the members of these groups unmistakably play with the imagery and ideology of Atomwaffen.
Expansion into Canada falls in line with Atomwaffen’s global goal of spreading its far-right terror mandate to cells across the world. And its Canadian ally is already carrying out activities.
In Ottawa, Northern Order posters were found on a local mosque on the anniversary of the Quebec mosque shooting, where a far-right terrorist open fired on worshippers, killing six. The group committed a hate crime by defacing the Ottawa mosque with violent neo-Nazi posters. The group’s name has also shown up in Toronto and Montreal on stickers that say “join the white jihad.”
Until now, the origins and sophistication of Northern Order were unknown. Ryan Scrivens, one of Canada’s leading scholars on the far-right, told VICE the way Northern Order is operating is “disturbing.”
According to him, the Northern Order and Atomwaffen, “tend to work in the shadows both on and offline, avoiding detection from law enforcement and anti-racist groups, for example—from communicating in private online platforms and masking their faces in photos to hiding in plain sight, in public places, by not drawing attention to themselves.”
“To me, this signals a hard push for a more violent faction of the right-wing extremist movement to operate and sustain itself in Canada,” Scrivens told VICE.
A screenshot from an Atomwaffen propaganda video.
Alba isn’t the only known Atomwaffen-connected Canadian. VICE learned information suggesting Dark Foreigner, a 21-year-old Canadian living in Ontario, allegedly traveled to the US attending the American terror group’s infamous “Hate Camp” where violent operations are planned, members train with various firearms, and top leadership meets in person.
Some of the images defacing those Canadian mosques is the work of Dark Foreigner—Atomwaffen’s official propagandist and graphic designer. VICE reached out to Ottawa Police for comment but, as of the time of publishing, haven’t heard back. This story will be updated if comment is received.
Atomwaffen is already linked to several hate crimes, an attempted bombing, and racially motivated killings in the US. In hidden chat networks viewed by ProPublica, Atomwaffen celebrated one of its members for killing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein who was gay and Jewish. That member is now awaiting trial for the crime in California. In 2017, another member shot his two roommates in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle and when police searched his home they found bomb-making materials.
The name “Atomwaffen” is German for “nuclear weapons.” According to their own propaganda, the covert group is intent on the creation of the “Fourth Reich.” Even within the far-right political ecosystem, Atomwaffen is considered extreme and dangerous.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.