A man who has been arrested and charged with the killing of a Muslim man in Toronto appears to have ties to a neo-Nazi occult group.
Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a 58-year-old Muslim man, was sitting outside a Toronto mosque when he was attacked and stabbed to death on September 12. He was the second person of colour to be stabbed to death in Toronto over just several days.
On Friday police arrested and charged 34-year-old Guilherme (William) Von Neutegem with first-degree murder in connection to Zafis’s death. In a press conference announcing the arrest, Toronto Police Inspector Hank Idsinga said Von Neutegem “simply walked up to (Zafis) and stabbed him.” Police said it is too early to exclude Von Neutegem from the investigation into the killing of Rampreet Singh who was stabbed to death just days earlier.
"There does not appear to be any motive and there does not appear to be any known relationship between the accused and the victim,” said Idsinga.
However, as first reported by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN), social media pages connected to Von Neutegem point to a connection to the Nazi-affiliated group known as the Order of Nine Angles or O9A/ONA. Evan Balgord, the Executive Director of the CAHN, described O9A to VICE News as “a neo-Nazi death cult.”
“It is kind of concerning that the Toronto Police didn't draw any connection here,” said Balgord. “Putting aside O9A is not something a lot of people know about, there were other examples of neo-Nazi imagery on his Instagram account. This includes the black sun, which is about as unmistakable (of an) neo-Nazi identifier as a swastika is.”
CAHN put out an article of their findings on Friday night. A Toronto Police spokesperson told VICE News they will “not be commenting” on if they’re investigating the connections between Von Neutegem and the neo-Nazi group or if they are planning on investigating the murder as a hate crime.
The social media profiles all link back to each other and use both names that police used for Von Neutegem (William and Guilherme.) The age, location, and unique name match up and are all cross-linked. Von Neutegem, at times, uses both William or Guilherme to identify himself on the same social media page. Balgord said to ensure CANH didn't misidentify someone they checked through databases for multiple William and Guilherme Von Neutegem's in Toronto to "demonstrate to our to our satisfaction, that that this was the same person." VICE News followed similar steps to verify.
The associated YouTube account features five videos of chanting. The most recent one, posted seven months ago, is called "Chant (ONA)" and features a man chanting over a monolith with a nine-sided pentagram inscribed on it. The nine-sided pentagram is associated with the group. He credits the song he is chanting to a person who, on their Facebook page, says they make “Order of Nine Angles (ONA/O9A) chant and sinister music(k).”
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The Order of Nine Angles is bizarre even among the extremely fringe world of neo-Nazis. While it has existed for decades, ONA began garnering headlines in recent years as the accelerationist movement of neo-Nazis like Atomwaffen and The Base began gaining traction. Multiple members inside both groups were influenced by O9A teachings and texts. The group's stated goal, put very simply, is to overthrow the modern order through acts of extreme cruelty such as murder or sexual assault that believe connect them to the supernatural. Followers of the group have been connected to a variety of crimes including terrorism charges and sexual assault charges in the U.K. Balgord said CAHN is aware of other O9A adherents active in Canada.
“It would be ridiculous, if not for the fact that their adherent takes it extremely seriously to the point there have been several murders, the grooming and sexual exploitation and rape of minors, and terror plots that they have tried to carry outright,” said Balgord. “So it would be silly, if not for just the extreme seriousness of what they actually do.”
Posting by Von Neutegem on social media pages other than YouTube point in a similar direction. As mentioned by Balgord, the linked Instagram page features a photo of a sonnenrad, or black sun, which has long been associated with Nazism and the occult. On Twitter, the account linked to Von Neutegem follows 42 accounts of among those are the convicted neo-Nazi murderer turned far-right YouTube philosopher Varg Vikernes; Lana Lokteff a host for the alt-right YouTube channel Red Ice TV, multiple people connected to the far-right Canadian YouTube channel Rebel Media; Arktos Media, a publishing house connected to O9A and other neo-Nazi groups, and a multitude of Canadian and American politicians. The accounts associated with Von Neutegem have also posted several far-right conspiracies regarding coronavirus and 5-G. On his Facebook page, Balgord says Von Neutegem used specific O9A terminology to refer to the Abrahamic god in one post.
Balgord says this doesn’t prove Von Neutegem was a member of an O9A group but it does point to the man having spent time with their teachings. He’s calling on Toronto police to investigate the murder as a hate crime.
“If this person was an adherent of the order of nine angles, as it appears to be, then certainly I can't think of any other explanation than that this played a big factor in these otherwise seemingly random killings,” said Balgord. “It should be investigated.”
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