Politics

New additions coming to terrorist list, say sources

The federal government will announce new additions to its list of terrorist organizations Wednesday, CBC News has learned.

Federal government giving update on 'ideologically motivated violent extremism' tomorrow

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair is expected to announce new additions to the federal government's list of terrorist organizations tomorrow. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The federal government will announce new additions to its list of terrorist organizations Wednesday, CBC News has learned.

Sources, who CBC is not naming because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement, said a number of entities will be added to the list, which comes with financial and legal ramifications. 

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair is set to make the announcement public at 12:30 p.m ET, Wednesday.

Before his remarks, reporters have been invited to a background briefing on ideologically motivated violent extremism.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) defines the term as extremism driven by a range of grievances and ideas from across the traditional ideological spectrum.

"The resulting worldview consists of a personalized narrative which centres on an extremist's willingness to incite, enable and or mobilize to violence," notes their 2019 public report.

"Extremists draw inspiration from a variety of sources including books, images, lectures, music, online discussions, videos and conversations."

It is not a crime to be listed, but groups on the list may have their assets seized, and there are serious criminal penalties for helping them carry out extremist activities.

Calls for Proud Boys to be listed

The government has faced calls in recent weeks to add the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity. Last month MPs voted unanimously to call on government to add the group to the terror list following the storming of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The non-binding and controversial motion was introduced by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Blair said he will listen to the intelligence collected by the country's security agencies before deciding on next steps.

Multiple media reports have linked Proud Boys members to those who stormed Capitol Hill after a speech by then-U.S. president Donald Trump on Jan. 6. A self-described organizer for the Proud Boys has been arrested for taking part in the siege.

CBC has not confirmed if the Proud Boys will be listed tomorrow.

Public Safety oversees the process of designating terrorist groups, based on reports from the RCMP and CSIS detailing "reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity; or the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with, an entity involved in a terrorist activity."

If the minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the group in question meets the threshold, the minister makes a recommendation to cabinet to place the entity on the list.

Many of the listed organizations are religiously-motivated terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and ISIS, but two far-right groups — Blood & Honour, an international neo-Nazi network, and its armed wing, Combat 18 — were added in June 2019.

Every two years the government undergoes a statutory review of the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities to confirm whether those listed continue to meet the legal threshold for listing.

New entities are added once it has been determined that they meet the legal threshold.

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