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Human Rights Groups Call on Canadian Government to List Ansar Allah as Terrorist Entity

Toronto (February 1, 2024) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and B’nai Brith Canada are calling on the Canadian government to list Ansar Allah, better known as the Houthi movement, as a terrorist entity under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act.

Under the Criminal Code, the federal government can add an entity to the terrorist list if there are “reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity.”

In a letter addressed to Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, FSWC called Ansar Allah an Islamist insurgency that “has been accused by leading human rights organizations of practicing slavery, using child soldiers and generating profit through hostage taking” and is “deeply antisemitic, having a slogan that includes the words ‘Curse Upon the Jews’, and having been accused of persecuting Yemen’s Jewish community.”

“The recent and unprecedented attacks on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are cut-and-dry examples of terrorism aimed at inducing political action through the threat of violence by threatening free trade while putting mariners from around the world at undue and unacceptable risk,” the letter states. “Ansar Allah must not be allowed to attack global trade without consequences. Listing Ansar Allah as a terrorist entity will impede their fundraising and organizing abilities and will send a clear message about the boundaries of acceptable political action on the world stage.”

B’nai Brith Canada wrote to Minister LeBlanc in late 2023 requesting that the Government of Canada take the necessary steps to list Ansar Allah as a terrorist entity.

“Since Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, the Houthi movement has launched multiple attacks against Israel,” B’nai Brith Canada remarked. “As well, they have repeatedly targeted commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea with the aim of disrupting international commerce. B’nai Brith Canada believes that designating the Houthi movement as a terrorist entity would send a strong message to Canada’s allies and is a necessary step to mitigate the threat Ansar Allah presently poses to the global community.”

FSWC and B’nai Brith Canada are requesting that Canada follow the United States’ lead after it recently re-designated Ansar Allah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group.