A researcher hired by the Trudeau government to produce a report on incel terrorism has told the Canadian Press that lifting COVID-19 restrictions could lead to a wave of incel terror attacks. 

The term “incel” – short for “involuntary celibate” – is often used to describe an online subculture made up predominantly of men who feel sexually rejected by women. 

Incel subculture spilled into mainstream coverage following the 2018 Toronto van attack which killed 11, after it was revealed that the perpetrator Alek Minassian was an adherent of incel ideology. 

“Our researchers called (COVID-19) a great equalizer because incels believed everyone would experience the social and romantic isolation that they suffer on a daily basis,” Moonshot spokesperson and researcher Alex Amend told the Canadian Press on Monday. 

“The end of lockdown and things opening up again will actually be more of a triggering point for them, so it would be beneficial for practitioners to pay more attention to the re-entry.”

Moonshot CVE was hired by the Liberal government in 2020 to publish a report on incel extremism within Canada. 

The ensuing report, titled Understanding and Preventing Incel Violence in Canada, is a social media scan and literature review supposedly exposing the “online incel ecosystem.” 

“Canada is described as a “cuck” or “beta” country due to its perceived “feminist” political orientation and the perceived “sexual selectivity” of Canadian women,” the government commissioned report claimed. “It is likely that COVID-19 pandemic will have exacerbated the number of (unemployed) incels, due to the high rate of global unemployment throughout 2020.”

Since 2018, Moonshot has received nearly $5 million in taxpayer funding for various violent extremism research studies.

 On Feb. 10, 2020 the company received two separate grants totaling $1,020,674 and $494,165 for its study Improving Knowledge and Research Capacity on the Global Incel Community & its Canadian Impact, which resulted in the report. 

“Please note that this document presents the analysis of Moonshot, and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Government of Canada,” a disclaimer to the report stated. “It is intended to help practitioners understand the online incel community, and present evidence-based recommendations to identify risk and respond to incel-related violence.” 

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