Soldiers of Odin (SOO) is an anti-immigrant street patrol group founded in Kemi, Finland in October 2015. The group was established as a response to thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Finland amid the European migrant crisis.
SOO has denied claims of being a racist or neo-Nazi group in interviews and on their public Facebook page. However, the group’s founder, Mika Ranta, has connections to the far-right Finnish Resistance Movement and a criminal conviction stemming from a racially motivated assault in 2005. According to the Finnish public broadcaster Yle, a private Facebook page for selected members of SOO shows that racism and Nazi sympathies are rampant among higher-ranking members. The group’s nature has raised concerns of anti-immigrant vigilantism.
In addition to Finland, affiliates of the group have a presence in Canada and the United States.