FSWC Deeply Disturbed by Alleged Terrorism Plot Against Ottawa’s Jewish Community

December 18, 2023

News Release

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Toronto (December 18, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is extremely concerned by the news that an Ottawa youth has been charged with allegedly plotting to attack the Jewish community in the nation’s capital.

Over the weekend, the RCMP issued a statement saying that in cooperation with the Ottawa Police Service, the OPP, CSIS and other national security partners, it had arrested and charged a young person with “facilitation of a terrorist activity by communicating instructional material related to an explosive substance” and “knowingly instructing, directly or indirectly, a person to carry out a terrorist activity against Jewish persons.”

In response, FSWC Director of Allyship and Community Engagement Dan Panneton issued the following statement:

“This alarming news comes at a time when Canada's Jewish community is already feeling anxious over its security, and with good cause. Between the firebombing and shooting of Jewish institutions, the harassment of Jewish students on university campuses, and the targeting of Jewish-owned businesses, the community has been facing weeks of increasingly hostile rhetoric and violent actions. Now the community learns an individual has been charged with planning an act of terrorism against it involving an explosive substance.

“It's all the more concerning that the charged individual is a youth, illustrating the dire need for mandated and improved education on the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism across the country. Lack of awareness about and distortions of the Holocaust are unfortunately widespread, feeding into antisemitic worldviews that can be inflamed during periods of tension. This individual is the fifth youth since June to be charged with terror-related offences, further demonstrating the need for action.

“Enough is enough. Canadians of all walks of life must speak out and denounce antisemitism whenever they see it. In the coming days, we hope that Ottawa residents will show support for their local Jewish community, who have been shaken by this news. Our Jewish neighbours have been feeling unsafe for months now, watching as violence against Jewish communities around the world has surged since October 7.”

FSWC expresses its gratitude to the RCMP, CSIS and other security services for foiling this potential attack and urges continued vigilance in the face of growing antisemitism and anti-Jewish hate crimes.