Group threatening Concordia Muslim students has no ties to U.S. supremacist group, experts say
Council of Conservative Citizens in U.S. says it’s never heard of Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada
The Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4), the group that purportedly wrote a threatening letter against Muslim students at Concordia University in Montreal, has no links to an American white supremacist group with a similar name, according to experts.
"That's not us. That type of behaviour is utterly counterproductive," said Paul Fromm, a Canadian spokesperson for the Council of Conservative Citizens.
The group describes itself as wanting to "preserve North America for the European founding settler people," and is "strongly opposed to massive Third World immigration."
"We don't support violence or threats of violence, which is what this sounds to be."
The Council of Conservative Citizens is a well-known group in the United States that was founded in 1988. It's been described in some U.S. media reports as "America's biggest white-nationalist organization."
Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black church members in Charleston, S.C., was apparently inspired by council documents.
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Fromm said he had never heard about the Canadian group claiming to have penned the letter threatening Concordia's Muslim students, until CBC News contacted him today and told him about it.
The letter sent to media outlets threatened to set off bombs in two buildings of the university's downtown campus over a 48-hour period.
"We know nothing about it. If did, we would repudiate it. That's not what we are about," Fromm told CBC. "This really is appalling."
CBC also reached out to an expert from the Southern Poverty Law Centre in the U.S., a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups.
Mark Potok, senior fellow at the group, has been writing about the Council of Conservative Citizens for years.
Potok said he's virtually certain the group has no links to the American group.
"I have never heard of the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada. It basically doesn't exist on the internet. You do a site search of the Council of Conservative Citizens [U.S.] website and there is no mention of it. So I think this is some kind of freelance operation," he said.
After the letter was emailed to media outlets and Montreal police were alerted, three buildings at Concordia's downtown campus were evacuated. Officers conducted a search. No explosive devices were found, and the buildings were reopened Wednesday evening.
The case has been handed over to the Montreal police major crimes unit.
With files from CBC's Leah Hendry