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FLASH ALERT: “QUEEN OF CANADA” THREATENS OFFICIALS AND LOCALS WITH PUBLIC EXECUTIONS IN SASKATCHEWAN

Kiara Alexander, Barbara Batycka, Magdalena Breyer, Lydia Baccino, Flavie Curinier NORTHCOM & Extremism Teams

Christina Valdez, Elena Rossetti, Mia Sadler, Alya Fathia Fitri, Editor; Radhika Ramalinga Venkatachalam, Evan Beachler, Senior Editor

October 7, 2023


Map of Saskatchewan, Canada[1]


The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) is issuing a FLASH ALERT to Saskatchewan government officials, political staff, Richmound law enforcement, and local residents following the threats of public executions by an extremist cult. A far-right QAnon conspiracy theorist and “Queen” of the “Kingdom of Canada,” Romana Didulo, and her cult followers, “We The People” (WTP), are staying in a former Richmound school located in a Saskatchewan village, 83 kilometers northwest of Maple Creek, near the Alberta border.[2] On Monday, the cult sent the village administration cease and desist letters accusing the mayor, village councilors, Richmound fire department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), local news reporter Thomas Fougere, and a school teacher of corruption, bullying, and stalking. The group published these letters across their social media platforms, including Telegram, which is used frequently due to its large following.[3] The cult stated that if the demands of the “Queen” were not met, they would face a day of judgment and "if found guilty of 'crimes against humanity' or 'treason,' would face "publicly broadcast execution upon yourselves, and undeserved devastation upon your children, grandchildren and families."[4] The cult ended its post by stating, "Be forewarned and prepared. WTP now are watching you with open eyes. The curtain is drawn … Your future is in your hands.”[5] RCMP deployed a temporary detachment in the area, with officers increasing the frequency of patrols to monitor reports of assault, threats, and suspicious persons.


CTG is on HIGH alert for the safety of the Richmound community’s members, as threats and provocations will VERY LIKELY rise in the upcoming days. Didulo and her followers will VERY LIKELY continue to radicalize amongst themselves and attract new followers as their messages and beliefs continue to gain attention, LIKELY growing bolder in their statements. It is ALMOST CERTAIN that cease-and-desist emails and Telegram will remain the main forms of communication for the group. Tensions are very LIKELY to continue increasing in Richmound if the Kingdom of Canada'' refuses to leave and the local community fails to meet the “Queen’s” decrees, with residents of Richmound LIKELY taking matters into their own hands if authorities fail to resolve the ongoing situation. Given the lack of prior casualties, there is a ROUGHLY EVEN CHANCE that the “Kingdom of Canada” will attempt to carry out their threats, though the group is LIKELY to violently retaliate if residents escalate the situation through direct confrontations on the former school’s property.


Concerns about this cult resurged on September 15 after Romana Didulo and her followers took up residence in a former school building located in rural Saskatchewan. Since then, tensions between inhabitants and the group have increased, with local residents rallying to evict Didulo’s cult. Residents and local officials closed the nearby playground due to its proximity to the school and concern that WTP members would approach children. According to community members, WTP has been taking photographs of residents while setting up a wire perimeter, including stationed guards around the school.[7]


Romana Didulo is a QAnon-inspired theorist who gained a large online following on the instant messaging app, Telegram, by bringing attention to several conspiracy theories and proclaiming her “decrees.” Didulo’s charismatic leadership and strategic travels across Canada to meet her followers have enabled her to take her virtual following offline. Since entering the political scene in 2021, Didulo has amassed 35.8k followers on her official Telegram channel alone.[8]


On October 2, WTP issued several cease and desist letters to the village administration detailing the ongoing corruption, bullying, and stalking by the Mayor, village councilors, Richmound fire department, the RCMP, a local news reporter, and a school teacher. The group posted these letters on their social media accounts, including their prominent Telegram account, while also writing about how actions carried out by these individuals listed are “dangerous,” “illegal,” and “immoral.”[9] Telegram posts attached to these letters instructed that the demands of the “Queen” should be met, and failing to do so would result in public executions. The post reads, “Be well assured that failure to Cease and Desist, IMMEDIATELY, from your Rothchild/CCP based communistic, unfair, demoralizing, and immoral activities and behaviors while "serving the (We the People)" and "before the (We the People) under the present Natural Law WILL surely bring forth judgment upon yourselves and if found guilty of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ or ‘Treason’ you WILL face publicly broadcast executions upon yourselves, and underserved devastation upon your children, grandchildren and families.”[10] Fougere, a local journalist named in the letters, explains, "I don't know who's reading this stuff. I don't know what kind of mental state they're in. I don't know if they're currently in a vehicle heading toward Richmound, Saskatchewan, with a bunch of firearms. There's a lot of unknowns. It makes me feel a little bit nervous. It makes me feel a little sick."[11] It appears that cult members believe the individuals listed in the letters are attacking their “Queen,” indicating that they deduce their actions are in self-defense for their cause and leader.


Within the cease and desist letters, there is a reference to the sovereign citizen movement. The Southern Poverty Law Centre details how QAnon conspiracy theories are often a gateway into this movement that believes individuals are not under the jurisdiction of government ruling and are exempt from US law.[12] Conspiracy theories and misinformation, as seen with this cult, are used to add legitimacy to their beliefs, giving them an authority on which they are acting.


CTG’s investigations into this group demonstrate their calls to violence through their activity on social media. In one post, Didulo instructed, “Shoot to kill anyone who is doing FEMA-like behavior in Maui anywhere in the “Kingdom of Canada,” while asking the “Kingdom of Canada” special forces “to ensure there is Zero FEMA in Maui like Bullschiit happening in British Columbia.”[13] Didulo, who has given herself the handle “HMR Queen Romana Didulo, Commander-in-Chief, Queen, President National Indigenous Chief of the “Kingdom of Canada,” reposted comments from her followers praising her and her actions. One post states, “... thank you, thank you for your hard work in saving and liberating WE THE PEOPLE” and asking her for further action to be taken: “[...] will you be releasing a Royal Decree regarding the insurance sector… this entity was set up to kill we the people and we pay them to do this…”[14]


Didulo and her followers are almost certainly convinced of their legal right to threaten public figures and remain in Richmound indefinitely under the “Kingdom of Canada’s decrees.” It is very unlikely that they will leave Richmound of their own accord, almost certainly justifying their presence through claims of territorial ownership. Local authorities will likely succeed in negotiating the cult’s departure if they legitimize Didulo and her followers’ narrative.WTP present in Richmound will almost certainly label any disagreement with the ideations and beliefs of the cult as an attack against the “Queen” and “Kingdom of Canada.” Didulo will almost certainly use the group’s forced expulsion from Richmound and Kamsack to fuel feelings of victimhood amongst her followers, very likely releasing new “decrees” and calling for mobilizing the “Kingdom of Canada’s special forces.”


Didulo and her followers will very likely relocate to a town or village across the Alberta border after expulsion from Richmound. Communities in rural Alberta are likely to be more receptive to the cult’s presence as anti-government and authority sentiments are more widespread amongst local populations and communities in the region.[15] The group will likely take advantage of these local grievances to boost their following. Didulo will almost certainly continue using natural disasters and governmental failings to demonstrate corruption and mismanagement to further delegitimize the Canadian government and corporations, very likely encouraging her followers to oppose and threaten those entities and their workers violently to delegitimize the Canadian government and corporations further. The followers of the “Kingdom of Canada'' will almost certainly continue to threaten members of local communities who oppose their presence and call on them to recognize the decrees issued by the “Queen of Canada.” It is very unlikely that “the Queen of Canada” will execute citizens, though there is a roughly even chance that a devoted supporter will hurt or kill in her name.


Didulo is very likely to strategically exploit the increase in viewership from mainstream media attention to expand the cult’s financial assets and its social media reach. She will very likely increase the number of posts on social media to continue gaining public attention and achieve online notoriety. Didulo will very likely organize more frequent meet-and-greets, likely advertising these on Telegram and charging followers, potential recruits, and fans to meet her. She will likely use social media platforms to request donations from her followers under the pretense of fighting against the enemies of the “Kingdom of Canada.” Didulo will very likely request private donations through sites that do not require verifications.


CTG has assessed the risk of a potential attack based on the Pathway to Violence matrix, which combines research from academia and the DHS to detail the six phases individuals take before committing acts of violence. The emails and “Royal Decrees” display grievances and violent ideations, and targeting certain individuals with public executions indicates that significant research planning has taken place. It is very likely that members of the group are individually and collectively undertaking stage 4 of the matrix, “preparation.” The group’s belief that they are being increasingly harassed and stalked by local officials and civilians is very likely to fuel their perceived grievances, increasing the likelihood that they will attempt to counter their perceived maltreatment through violence. Though the group’s threats of violence have historically preceded inaction, the RCMP and civilians living in Saskatchewan and Alberta should be on high alert as the likelihood of an attack is likely to increase as public scrutiny grows and different towns continuously evict the cult.


CTG recommends that local residents stop confronting Romana Didulo and her followers by honking their car horns in mass outside of the cult’s residence. As an ongoing police investigation is occurring, it will make the investigation and repercussions more difficult for law enforcement if the cult leaves and their whereabouts are unknown. Recently, Kammask, Saskatchewan, successfully swayed the group to leave their township, but CTG recommends that residents do not attempt to remove the cult from Richmound. Minimizing community engagement with the cult will likely ensure that public order remains and that all citizens stay safe. A provocation can turn Didulo’s threats into action and enact serious harm. On October 14, Didulo will be hosting a meet and greet for local residents in Richmound and is expecting a large convoy of visitors. Locals should avoid direct engagement with Romana Didulo and her followers to demonstrate to the group that their presence is unwanted and that the group’s popularity is not likely to grow in this region.


CTG recommends that local law enforcement increase and intensify their surveillance of critical locations in Richmound, including the private residences and workplaces of the threatened individuals and the former Richmound school. CTG recommends that healthcare clinics, emergency personnel buildings, schools, and elected official’s offices secure their buildings and entrances and monitor access until the situation has de-escalated. CTG’s NORTHCOM and Extremism analytical teams will continue to monitor the situation and analyze future developments, including the publishing of more “Royal Decrees” and emails sent to public servants. These teams, along with Threat Hunters, will work closely with CTG’s Digital Targeter program and the Worldwide Analysis of Threats, Crime, and Hazards (WATCH) team to gather additional information in real-time and warn the public in the event of threat escalation or attacks.


CTG assesses that the current threat climate is HIGH, given the unknown capabilities of the group to carry out the mentioned threats. The impact level is high, threatening the safety and lives of the local community and elected officials. The emails and “Royal Decrees” directly target members of the Richmound community with public executions if they do not follow Didulo’s requests. The threats can have a nationwide impact as this highly nomadic group will very likely station itself in different towns and cities across Canada, threatening any civilian that does not comply with Didulo’s “decrees.” The groups’ unpredictability and capabilities pose a nationwide threat to Canada as their followers could carry out an attack at any time, anywhere in the country.


Analysis indicates that there is a HIGH PROBABILITY that Didulo and her followers will use the momentum of mainstream media attention to spread disinformation about the ongoing Richmound stand-off, very likely framing themselves as victims across social media platforms. The group is VERY LIKELY threatening locals and elected officials to garner popularity and funds for their political agenda. The threats are LIKELY meant to scare those who do not prescribe to Didulo’s ideology into engaging and following the dictated commands, with the hope that they will be able to remain in Richmound indefinitely. Although the group is UNLIKELY to take violent actions in Richmound based on its historical inaction after threatening officials and locals, officials and the local community should not rule out such measures. Didulo and her followers will VERY LIKELY relocate to different villages, towns, and cities across Canada, with similar incidents LIKELY to continue occurring until federal authorities take action against the group.

 

[2] Cult of self-proclaimed 'Queen of Canada' threatens Sask. village with public executions, CBC News, October 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/cult-of-self-proclaimed-queen-of-canada-threaten-sask-village-with-public-executions-1.6988680

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] After being moved out of Sask. town, ‘QAnon queen’ moves to another community in province, CTV News, September 2023, https://regina.ctvnews.ca/after-being-forced-out-of-kamsack-qanon-queen-relocates-to-another-sask-community-1.6567004

[8] Threat Hunter from Telegram

[9] Death Threats, Closed Playgrounds: QAnon Queen Wreaks Havoc in Small Town Canada, VICE, October 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/7kx7q9/death-threats-closed-playgrounds-qanon-queen-wreaks-havoc-in-small-town-canada

[10] Ibid

[11] Cult of self-proclaimed 'Queen of Canada' threatens Sask. village with public executions, CBC News, October 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/cult-of-self-proclaimed-queen-of-canada-threaten-sask-village-with-public-executions-1.6988680

[12] Sovereign Citizens Movement, Southern Poverty Law Centre, October 2023, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/sovereign-citizens-movement

[13] Threat Hunter from Telegram

[14] Ibid

[15] Insight: In protests and politics, Canada's 'Freedom Convoy' reverberates, Reuters, August 2022 https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/protests-politics-canadas-freedom-convoy-reverberates-2022-08-04/

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