Two advocacy groups are calling for police to investigate the killing of a Muslim man outside a west-end Toronto mosque as a hate crime, pointing to the suspect’s social media profiles as evidence that he is connected to white supremacy movements.
“Within five minutes, we found his Twitter profile and we found that he followed a number of white supremacists accounts,” said Evan Balgord, the executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, referring to the social media accounts of 34-year-old Guillerme (William) von Neutegem, who was arrested and charged on Friday with the first-degree murder of 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis.
“We also saw that he followed individuals associated with the national socialist black metal scenes, we are talking neo-Nazi metal. From there, we found his YouTube account, we found that he posted a video that’s associated with this chant that’s associated with this Nazi Satanist ideology, and we looked back on his other social media profiles and found that he used very specific language that would indicate that he was an adherent, or at least extremely well-versed, in the ideology of this Nazi death cult.”
Balgord said he is concerned that police have yet to lay hate crime charges, adding it is clear von Neutegem is an adherent of the Nazi Satanist cult.
“The Toronto Police Service is kind of out of their depth here. They need to bring in an external expert, whether that’s us or international experts who follow this group,” he said.
The Anti-Hate Network said the group von Neutegem follows is explicitly racist and encourages it’s adherents to cull people to achieve a satanic empire. Balgord said that could explain the potential motive behind the murder of Zafis, the volunteer caretaker of the IMO Mosque who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack outside the mosque on Sept. 12.
Toronto police homicide detectives told Global News they are investigating all possible motives for the murder, including hate and terrorism. They spent the weekend executing search warrants at two Etobicoke apartments where von Neutegem lived with his father and his ex-wife.
The National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM) echoed the need for the murder of Zafis to be investigated as a hate crime.
“Given the public confirmation of his links to a disturbing strand of white supremacy and Neo-Nazism and while more investigation is further required, NCCM is calling on the federal government to take immediate action in dismantling white supremacist groups,” said CEO Mustafa Farooq.
Farooq said the federal government must use the Criminal Code of Canada and terror listing provisions to ban white supremacist militias.
“There are 300 (Nazi) groups who are active in Canada, many who are active and mobilized. These are groups that should no longer be able to exist in Canada, plain and simple,” he said.
Meanwhile, Von Neutegem remains in custody and is expected to return to court on Friday.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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