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Neo-Nazi group Blood & Honour removed from Facebook after terrorist designation

WATCH: For the first time, Canada has added two right-wing extremist groups to its list of outlawed terror organizations.

The violent neo-Nazi group Blood & Honour has been banned from Facebook, the social media company said Thursday after the group was placed on Canada’s list of terrorist organizations.

The Blood & Honour Facebook page was taken down Thursday afternoon, after Global News asked the company why it remained online despite Canada’s terrorist designation.

Facebook said it had removed the page for violating its community standards and the group was banned. Blood & Honour is also banned from Instagram.

READ MORE: Canada adds neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour, Combat 18 to list of terror organizations

A half-dozen Canadian Facebook pages were taken down in April as part of a crackdown on extremist content in the wake of the New Zealand mosque killings.

The latest action came a day after the government announced it had added Blood & Honour, and its armed branch Combat 18, to Canada’s list of terrorist entities.

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Facebook said it had banned Blood & Honour prior to the Canadian listing but was “continually reviewing activity on our platform for potential violation of our policies.”

The company had not previously confirmed that Blood & Honour’s Canadian branch was banned. A spokesperson declined to say when the ban was imposed.

A T-shirt advertised on the Blood & Honour Facebook page, which was taken down Thursday.
A T-shirt advertised on the Blood & Honour Facebook page, which was taken down Thursday. Facebook

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on our services,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Until Thursday, the neo-Nazi group’s Facebook page had been advertising t-shirts and hoodies bearing images of firearms and logos such as “hate crew” and “Terror Machine Combat 18.”

But while the Facebook page was removed, the website of Blood & Honour and Combat 18 was seemingly unaffected by the government action.

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RCMP Staff Sgt. Tania Vaughan said the service provider of the website would be required to shut it down if it was hosted in Canada.

READ MORE: Goodale pledges $1M to UN extremism fund but mum on forcing content removal

“If a website is hosted outside Canada, the RCMP can work with the host country’s law enforcement to determine whether they can provide assistance in shutting down the website,” she said.

Blood & Honour and Combat 18 are the first right-wing extremist groups to be added to Canada’s terrorist list, making it illegal to deal with their assets.

They are part of an international neo-Nazi network that has conducted attacks in North America and Europe.

An image from the Blood & Honour website.
An image from the Blood & Honour website.

A report by Alberta’s Organization for the Prevention of Violence said Blood & Honour had emerged in the province a decade ago from the Aryan Nations.

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But it said that while its membership had peaked at 60 to 70 in 2016-2017, it was unable to expand out of southern Alberta and was in decline.

It also has a presence in other provinces, including Ontario.

Also placed on the terrorist list Wednesday were three Shia militant groups supported by Iran: the Al-Ashtar Brigades, Harakat al-Sabireen, and the Fatemiyoun Division.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

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