White supremacists in Canada’s armed forces pose an “active counter-intelligence threat” and national defence officials are “limited” in their ability to root them out, the country’s national security watchdog says.

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) reported concerns Monday that the Canadian Armed Forces’ counter-intelligence unit is “limited” in their ability to proactively identify white supremacists in the ranks.

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces creates ‘hateful conduct’ policy to combat extremism in its ranks

“The presence of white supremacy within the Canadian military has been well documented. White supremacist groups actively seek individuals with prior military training and experience, or conversely, encourage individuals to enlist in order to gain access to specialized training, tactics and equipment,” the report reads.

While the “responsibility for addressing this threat cannot fall uniquely” on the Forces’ counter-intelligence unit, NSIRA said, the agency reported concern the unit “may not be fully utilized to proactively identify white supremacist across” the Department of National Defence.

White supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the Canadian Armed Forces has been a growing concern for a number of years, and increasingly a preoccupation of for senior officials.


The heads of the Forces’ three branches – the military, navy and Air Force – released specific directives against “hateful conduct” within the ranks last year.

But NSIRA’s report casts doubt on the Forces’ ability to actually identify white supremacists within their ranks.

More to come.
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