Canadian Anti-Hate Network
A 19-year-old Ontario man has been charged for allegedly contributing to the activity of a listed terrorist group after a string of “hate-motivated” offences that took place last year.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), Seth Bertrand has been charged with “participating in or contributing to the activity of a terrorist group.”
Bertrand is accused of attempting to join the Atomwaffen Division (also known as National Socialist Order), as well as a string of hate-motivated vandalism attacks on a trans community group and the residence of a gay couple. Atomwaffen, a US-founded group of neo-Nazi accelerationists, was listed by the Government of Canada as a terrorist entity in February 2021 – the same month police began their investigation into Bertrand.
According to reporting at the time, Bertrand targeted the Windsor headquarters of W.E. Trans Support, now called Trans Wellness Ontario, an organization serving the trans community. The incidents started with slurs and swastikas being tagged on the building’s windows on two separate occasions. Several days after the second incident, as written by Windsor News Today, a “rusted brake rotor” was tossed through the window of the centre.
In May, a gay couple with a rainbow Pride Flag on their porch had their home and vehicle repeatedly vandalized. A note was also reportedly left outside their home. Reading that the sender “knows who you are,” it also contained a collection of hand-drawn symbols related to National Socialism.
Surveillance footage captured of a man alleged to be Bertrand
throwing an object at the window of a gay couple. Source: Facebook
“Between February 12 and May 20, 2021, an individual committed various hate-motivated offences in the Windsor area,” the RCMP wrote in a release. “As a result of the investigation, RCMP INSET was able to determine that the individual filed an online application to join a listed terrorist entity, the Atomwaffen Division (also known as National Socialist Order).
Adding that Bertrand had “offered his skills and commitment” to the group.
He faces charges of participating in “any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.”
The RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police Provincial Anti-Terrorism Section (OPP PATS) and the Windsor Police Service all contributed to the investigation.
What We Know
The press release is not the first time Bertrand has been identified participating in the remaining networks that grew out of the web forum Iron March, sometimes referred to as the “Skull Mask Network.”
Hope Not Hate researcher Patrik Hermansson previously named Bertrand as a contact of Coleman Thomas Blevins, the founder of another accelerationist group that adopted many Atomwaffen and Iron March aesthetics.
Blevins made headlines when he was arrested ahead of an alleged plot to shoot up a Texas Walmart.
Bertrand and Blevins, according to Hermansson, were both members of an online chat titled the “National Partisan Movement.” The NPM is a youth-led neo-Nazi group, which at one time boasted 70 supporters from 13 countries. Reports indicate the network targets children as young as 14 for membership.
Bertrand has a spanning social media history across a number of platforms. Many of these accounts display his interest in accumulating military gear and supplies. Videos of some of this collection include a series of gas masks, German Flecktarn camouflage, and the jacket of a National Socialist military officer from the Second World War.
A dating profile attributed to Seth includes photos of a man wearing several of these gas masks. Included among these images is a piece of propaganda produced by the Atomwaffen Division.
“I am far-right,” part of the profile reads.
An Instagram account under the same name shows much of the same gear and includes pictures of a nametag produced to resemble one worn by military members reading “Bertrand.”
Seth Bertrand did not respond immediately to a request for comment.