People prone to radical ideas are increasingly likely to act alone rather than in groups, according to a new report on hate and extremism in Alberta and Canada.
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The report, released this week by the Organization for the Prevention of Violence (OPV), showed that over the past three years, groups once prevalent in Alberta, such as the Soldiers of Odin and the Three Percenters, who were subject to ideological violence, have largely dissolved or disorganized.
In their place, much of the extremism in the province and across North America has shifted to people acting alone.
Michael King, director of research for OPV, told the Calgary Herald that Canada is willing to label the groups as hate organizations, a distinction most people don’t want to be associated with.
“People pick and choose elements of neo-Nazi ideology, but not everything. They select ideas from the Sovereign Citizens movement or the “free men on earth” movement (two groups that deny the legitimacy of laws and the state), but not everything, King said. They don’t go to extremes, but they think some ideas are applicable, and then they also espouse some of QAnon’s theories. They put it all together and then they have their own ideology.”
King said the shift to a more individualistic form of ideological extremism could make those prone to violence harder to detect, because they wouldn’t be as easily identifiable.
However, he said actors alone would have a harder time provoking widespread, large-scale violence.