Toronto Star: Right-wing extremism a greater threat in North America

Washington’s New American Foundation released a study last week showing that nearly twice as many people were killed in the U.S. by non-Muslim perpetrators.

According to groundbreaking research now being done in Canada, similar patterns can be seen here, with a consistent level of right-wing extremism throughout the country’s history.

That wouldn’t come as a surprise to security and law enforcement officials on either side of the border, especially when it comes to so-called “lone wolf” attacks, such as the June 17 murders of nine black congregants at the South Carolina church.

These types of attacks are often cited as the most pressing concern, due to the difficulty in detecting or preventing them.

However, when thinking of lone wolf attacks today, what comes to mind is Ottawa’s Parliament Hill shooting in October that killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The shooter said he was motivated to avenge Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan and may have found inspiration for his attacks online with Islamic State propaganda.

Yet an internal Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) briefing note, obtained by the Star under access to information law, warns that right-wing and white supremacist views have been the “main ideological source” for 17 per cent of lone wolf attacks worldwide.

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