Victim fears neo-Nazi link in suspected bombing of Abbotsford home

Posted by admin on Apr 6th, 2010

By Rafe Arnott, Abbotsford Times, April 6, 2010

Abbotsford police are reporting that accelerant used in a fire that damaged a home in the 33900 block of Old Yale Road at 2 a.m. Monday had a fused device connected to it. The presence of the device caused police investigators to request outside assistance, said APD spokesperson 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 blast that started 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 of the house immediately.

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 home’s exterior could be seen adjacent to a door situated at the side of the home.

Debris was blown across the yard for several metres in an outward pattern from the door.

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 protestors, 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.

MacDonald said police have no prior interaction with the residents, or the address in question, and are trying to determine what potential motives for the incident might exist.

“We would obviously investigate any suggestions that the [residents] may have for potential reasons for [the incident], but I couldn’t comment further on what has transpired here,” said MacDonald.
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