Friday, August 27, 2010


If any comfort can come out of the raid in Ottawa, which took down an alleged domestic terrorism cell, it's that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) may have finally found its stride.

It's closing in on elite status.

Finally, it can put behind the dysfunction of its Air India investigation of 25 years ago when CSIS, in its infancy, didn't share information (/informants - MS) with the RCMP, and the RCMP reciprocated with equal contempt.

Now it is gaining some stature.

Some international credibility.

With its success in the detection of the Toronto 18, and its role in the takedown in Ottawa of yet another alleged homegrown terrorist operation by integrated police forces led by the RCMP, it can be almost be spoken in the same breath as Britain's MI6. (MI-6 is international, MI-5 domestic, like CSIS)

This is no small feat.

CSIS and the RCMP are now on the same page, which bodes well for our security and the global war on terrorism. After all, there are snakes in every rock pile.

Back in May, CSIS director Dick Fadden told a Commons committee his spies were monitoring 200 such rock piles in Canada, one of them obviously being Operation Samosa, which now has three men linked to al-Qaida under arrest, including a 2008 Canadian Idol reject who savagely butchered an Avril Lavigne tune.

It's Complicated -- the song, as well as this scenario.

But do not immediately dismiss this Idol clown as some fumbling incompetent. If you do, do so at your peril.

As Fadden put it, "Accused terrorists are routinely portrayed as being too unsophisticated, ill-prepared or youthful to actually commit heinous acts.

"This theme permeated coverage of those charged in the Toronto plot," he added. "Some terrorists are, like those many spy novels, enormously resourceful and talented. Others are simply determined, but fairly average foot soldiers."

Fadden then cited Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. While he was not a particularly gifted individual, said Fadden, his 1995 actions nonetheless killed 168 people, injured almost 700, and damaged more than 300 buildings within a 16-block radius.

In other words, just because someone can't sing, doesn't mean he cannot set off an IED detonator.

The song may have been Complicated.

But bombs aren't.