Thursday, August 26, 2010


*** They have not spoken to a single Muslim leader or even a Muslim expert on terrorism and radicalization - in fact, I think they are plagiarizing from some information that was given to them a couple of years ago (waiting for confirmation) in which I was involved.

On top of that the RCMP is doing its own thing and CSIS is doing its own thing. And how many millions of dollars is this costing? I could devise a program for HALF the cost in HALF the time - and they know it but hey, what would I know? MS ***

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews on Thursday applauded the co-ordinated efforts of police and intelligence forces who say they foiled an Ottawa-based terror plot, but said the incident underscores the burgeoning threat of homegrown terrorism.

"There is a growing concern about radicalization inside Canada — so that is, homegrown terrorism," said Toews. "That is a phenomena that we have seen in many Western democracies, and it's a relatively new phenomena that we must be very vigilant about."

Toews called on Canadians to stand up against terrorist threats, suggesting leaders from various communities in Canada should approach the government if they have information that threatens public safety. (MS: Sure, just as long as you give the community credit for helping you instead of taking the information and then leaving the community to suffer accusations of "you're not doing enough")

The co-ordination between the RCMP, CSIS and various police groups during the yearlong Project Samossa investigation, which resulted in the arrests this week of two Ottawa men and another from St. Thomas, Ont., was quickly praised by experts, who said the arrests were a success and proved the lessons learned in the intelligence community from Air India.

However, former CSIS senior manager Michel Juneau-Katsuya said Canada has a lot of work to do when it comes to building diplomacy around the world.

"Is it on the grand scale, the big picture, a great success? It's a temporary success," he said.

"If we don't go to the root cause of terrorism, we're still going to have more guys who are going to be pissed at us, and will succeed one day," said Juneau-Katsuya, a criminal-intelligence expert for 30 years.

Canada also lacks a national counter-radicalization strategy, although a senior RCMP officer says discussions are underway.

"It's not in place yet," Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud, head of National Security Criminal Investigations, said recently, before this weeks arrests in Ottawa.

"Right now it's very piecemeal. Ourselves, we're doing something, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is doing something. But it's broader than that." (MS: Yes, they have ignored everything I have conveyed to them on this subject. They think they know best - typical RCMP attitude)

Interviews with officials and de-classified documents indicate that counter-terrorism agencies have been fighting a behind-the-scenes battle to identify Canadians who are radicalizing and, in some cases, taking steps to intervene.

When investigators suspect a Canadian is preparing to travel overseas for training or to join a terrorist group such as Al-Shabab in Somalia, for example, they have been conducting interventions. That may involve visiting the person or, if they are young, breaking the news to their parents.

The government has also been funding academic research on radicalization and studying what other countries are doing.

But Mubin Shaikh, who worked as an undercover CSIS and RCMP agent during the Toronto 18 terror investigation, said if a national strategy is in the works, the Muslim community had not been informed.

"Exactly who are they developing this in conjunction with? There is not a single Muslim leader that they have spoken with (that I know of)," he said. "If the program does not have legitimacy with the masses, it will be worthless and useless."

Meanwhile, a declassified CSIS report released under the Access to Information Act concludes there is no single "best strategy" for fighting radicalization and that regardless of efforts to stop them, some will still become terrorists.

The three men arrested are accused of conspiring with others in Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan to build improvised explosive devices for attacks in Canada and to raise money to fund IED attacks on Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

While officials were mum on potential targets, Juneau-Katsuya said al-Qaida "likes to hit icons," such as the Parliament buildings.

An RCMP spokesman said the accused had IED parts, including more than 50 circuit boards that could be used to remotely detonate bombs, but wouldn't say if the group had explosives.

The investigation was intended to prevent the use of the IEDs against coalition forces and Canadian troops, said RCMP Chief Supt. Serge Therriault.

Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, from Ottawa, are charged, along with Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ont.

The charges allege they conspired with three other people — identified as James Lara, Rizgar Alizadeh and Zakaria Mamosta — and other "persons unknown" to facilitate "terrorist activity" between February 2008 and Aug. 24 of this year.

Alizadeh also faces charges in relation to making an explosive device and funding a terrorist group.

With files from Ottawa Citizen
© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

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