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Thursday, 8 April 2010

Police probe house fire as arson victim suspects retaliation for anti-Nazi activity (Canada)

Abbotsford police are reporting that accelerant was used in a fire that damaged a home 2am Monday had a fused device connected to it.

The presence of the device caused investigators to request outside assistance, said spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald.
"We didn't relinquish the investigation, we asked for some expertise from the [RCMP] bomb squad," he said.

A resident of the house in question, Maitland Cassia, identified himself as a member of Anti-Racist Action, and said he was jolted out of bed by what he described as a loud "blast."
Cassia fears the fire was in retaliation for an anti-Nazi rally he helped organize that took place at New Westminster's Braid SkyTrain Station on March 21.
The rally generated media coverage and subsequent photos from the event splashed Cassia's name and face across several Lower Mainland newspaper websites, making him a target, he said.

He said he is fearful of further retaliation, and planned on moving out.
Members of the bomb squad were on scene Monday, said MacDonald, and collected several items of interest in evidence bags and containers.
Heavy black scorching and damage to the exterior could be seen beside a door at the side of the house.
Police suspect the device was used as a way to create distance when the accelerant was set off, and are treating the incident as arson.
The Braid rally in March drew hundreds of anti-Nazi protesters, and was in response to a planned white supremacy, neo-Nazi rally that never materialized.
Online sites quoted Cassia declaring the rally a "victory" for those opposed to racial discrimination.

Vancouver Sun