Politics

Quebec man accused of advocating genocide, making threats against Muslims, Trudeau

The RCMP's national security team has charged a Quebec man with advocating genocide — a first in the province's history, according to a police news release — after he allegedly left "disturbing online posts" directed at the prime minister and the Muslim community.

André Audet, 62, of Boucherville, faces a list of charges in connection with online posts

RCMP say the accused called for the death of Justin Trudeau and encouraged the eradication of Muslims. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The RCMP's national security team has charged a Quebec man with advocating genocide — a first in the province's history, according to a police news release — after he allegedly left "disturbing online posts" directed at the prime minister and the Muslim community.

André Audet, 62, of Boucherville was charged originally in December with incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred in the same investigation, but now faces two new charges in connection with the alleged threats.

"The charges stem from a brief investigation conducted by the RCMP integrated national security enforcement team (INSET) after receiving information about disturbing online posts," said an RCMP statement released Monday morning. 

"For example, the accused called for the death of Justin Trudeau and encouraged the eradication of Muslims."

Audet made hundreds of posts: RCMP

Police said further review of the evidence and the execution of search warrants led them to lay new charges: advocating genocide and intimidation of a justice system participant. The "participant" in this case, said RCMP Cpl. Charles Poirier said, was the prime minister.

Police said they believe Audet used a variety of pseudonyms on a number of social media networks.

"The investigators identified approximately one hundred hate posts, threats and/or posts inciting violence in the targeted accounts," the statement went on.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims issued a statement Monday applauding the RCMP's move, while recognizing "that the RCMP itself has systemic issues to deal with."

"Advocating for genocide is egregious and an extreme form of hate speech. Statements directing violence towards our community, or any community, cannot be tolerated," said the organization's director of legal affairs, Sameha Omer.

"These charges, laid for the first time in Quebec's history, send an important message."

In Monday's news release, the RCMP encouraged people to report threats they come across.

"Violent statements will not be tolerated," it said. "The perpetrators may face criminal charges involving significant sentences."

Charges follow Rideau Hall incident

The new charges come more than a week after a man allegedly breached the grounds at Rideau Hall with multiple loaded firearms.

Corey Hurren, 46, faces 22 criminal charges, including uttering a threat or conveying a threat to "cause death or bodily harm" to Trudeau, according to court documents.

That investigation is also being led by INSET, which — according to Public Safety Canada's website — was created to "track, deter, disrupt and prevent criminal activities of terrorist groups or individuals who pose a threat to Canada's national security."

With files from Elizabeth Thompson

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