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Security Brief: Extremism, Week of November 15, 2021

Week of Monday, November 15, 2021 | Issue 59

Lydia Pardun, Marina Amador, Extremism Team


Anti-Semitic graffiti[1]


Date: November 15, 2021

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Parties involved: Ottawa Police Service‘s Hate and Bias Crime Unit; Law enforcement

The event: The Ottawa Police Hate and Bias Crime Unit is investigating a hate crime after anti-Semitic graffiti was found on the walls of the Ottawa City Hall and the provincial courthouse. Police officers were notified on November 15, 2021, around 0820 local time. The graffiti included anti-Semitic symbols such as a swastika and the acronym “SS” referring to the Schutzstaffel unit, a group responsible for the implementation of the Nazi regime‘s policy and the genocide of millions of Jews and other minorities. Crimes against the Jewish community in Ottawa are increasing after eight incidents involving anti-Semitic posters were reported on November 7, 2021.[2] The wave of hatred against Jews in Ottawa follows the trend of anti-Semitism in Canada, which had 2,610 anti-Semitic incidents in 2020 according to the Canadian independent organization B‘nai Brith Canada.[3]

The implications:

  • The increase of anti-Semitic incidents in Ottawa over the last two weeks almost certainly poses a major threat to the security of the local Jewish community. Given that the incidents have occurred in different parts of the city, it is very likely the area under threat of similar hate crimes will continue to expand. If perpetrators are not identified and arrested promptly, the vandalism is likely to escalate to physical attacks against members of the Jewish community. Jewish places of worship and gathering are likely to be targeted following anti-Semitic vandalism at Ottawa City Hall and the provincial courthouse.

  • Canada’s high levels of anti-Semitism have likely been motivated by the growing presence of online conspiracy theories disseminated by far-right groups scapegoating Jews. Anti-Semitic narratives promoted by extremist individuals at anti-vaccine protests held across the country also have likely contributed to the rise in anti-Semitic crimes. It is very likely that with the arrival of winter, the number of COVID-19 cases will increase, resulting in more restrictions and vaccination campaigns that will almost certainly lead to more anti-vaccine protests where anti-Semitic rhetoric will continue to spread. Far-right and anti-vax groups will almost certainly exploit people‘s discontent with anti-COVID-19 measures to continue to disseminate anti-Semitic propaganda aimed at encouraging violence against Jews both online and at demonstrations, likely resulting in an increase in hate crimes against the Jewish community.

Date: November 16, 2021

Location: Ossining, New York, USA

Parties involved: Robert McCallion; Ossining Police; State of New York

The event: Robert McCallion was sentenced to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to 14 felony charges, including second degree attempted murder as a hate crime. McCallion stabbed a 17-year-old African American woman while yelling anti-Black and anti-Semitic slurs and later attacked a medical professional at Westchester County Jail while in custody. The police searched his home and found two assault weapons, a tactical vest, and Nazi propoganda. McCallion admitted to becoming radicalized by following white nationalist organizations.[4] This attack followed rising trends in white supremacist rhetoric and hate crimes since 2020.[5]

The implications:

  • McCallion’s attack following recent rises in white supremacist rhetoric shows these narratives are very likely becoming more influential, which will likely increase racial polarization. Hate crimes motivated by white supremacy are very likely to continue to occur more frequently, threatening minorities and immigrants in the US. White supremacy and far-right extremism will likely motivate future terrorist attacks and mass shootings. By watching for trends in white supremacy activity and possible coordination, law enforcement will likely increase their ability to identify and prevent hate crimes.

  • Individual hate crimes spurred by propaganda spread by white supremacist organizations are very likely harder to track and predict. Future violent hate crimes are likely to be more successful and effective because law enforcement’s ability to prevent specific threats will be limited. Additionally, white supremacists often do not need membership to an extremist group to access its propaganda and resources, increasing the capability of one or few perpetrators to commit hate crimes or terrorist attacks. If hate crimes continue to rise, higher tensions in inter-racial interactions between strangers and racial polarization will likely increase, perpetuating the threat of hate crimes.

Specialty reports are designed to inform clients of existing and emerging threats worldwide. To defeat terrorists and individuals intent on harming, it is critical to understand and investigate them. We collect and analyze intelligence on terrorists and extremists, their organizations, individuals who are threats, and their tactics and attacks to develop solutions to detect, deter, and defeat any act of terrorism or violence against our client. We also conduct investigations to identify persons of interest, threats, and determine the likelihood of a threat and how to stop them. To find out more about our products and services visit us at counterterrorismgroup.com.

[1]AIRM - Jewish cemetery in Chișinău - jun 2014 - 13” by Agenția de Inspectare și Restaurare a Monumentelor din Republica Moldova, licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Hate crime unit investigates antisemitic vandalism on courthouse, CBC News, November 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-police-hate-crime-unit-investigating-antisemiti-vandalism-1.6249595

[3] “Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2020”, B‘nai Brith Canada, 2021, https://www.bnaibrith.ca/antisemitic-incidents/

[4] Ossining man gets 15 years in hate crime stabbing of 17-year-old girl, Abc7 News, November 2021, https://abc7ny.com/robert-mccallion-stabbing-hate-crime-ossining/11242720/

[5] White supremacist propaganda hit an all-time high in 2020, new report says, USA Today, March 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/03/17/white-supremacist-propaganda-hits-all-time-high/4721323001/

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