*** Standard kudos to all involved. Yet another proof that radicalization is increasing - question is: is there a plan? I have yet to see one. MS ***
OTTAWA — The RCMP dismantled an alleged Ottawa terrorist cell with suspected links to al-Qaeda on Wednesday morning, making two arrests in the nation’s capital without incident.
The men are suspected of preparing a terrorist attack targeting Canada. The ringleader allegedly attended training camps in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region.
But the bomb plot was described as not well defined and the arrests were apparently made on Wednesday because one of the suspects was preparing to travel abroad.
A news conference has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The RCMP, Ottawa Police Service and Canadian Security Intelligence Service were involved in the operation.
“At approximately 8:00 this morning, “A” Division’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (A-INSET) investigators arrested two Ottawa residents in relation to terrorist offences,” the RCMP said in a news release on Wednesday afternoon.
“Search warrants are being executed in order to secure additional evidence. More arrests are anticipated.”
The suspects have not been named publicly.
The case is considered the most significant counter-terrorism operation in Canada since Project Osage, the 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18, young al-Qaeda-inspired extremists who plotted attacks in southern Ontario.
Although police have released little information on Wednesday, the case appears to fit the pattern of so-called homegrown terrorists, the term for Canadians who have become radicalized and adopted the al-Qaeda ideology.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews could not be reached for comment but a Public Safety spokesman said on Wednesday morning “the government of Canada recognizes that violent extremism and radicalization pose a serious threat to Canada’s national security.
“The government continues to participate in activities to better understand extremism throughout the world and the motivations of individuals who engage in terrorism,” David Charbonneau said. (MS: Just not involving the Muslim community of course.)
Coming on the heels of the failed Times Square bombing and the Fort Hood shooting, the alleged plot could be the latest attempt by remnants and affiliates of al-Qaeda to use Western recruits to strike inside North America.
“There is substantial evidence from cases in the U.K. and the E.U. that various so-called homegrown groups do demonstrate a connection to an al-Qaeda centre in areas of doctrine, strategy, tactics and target selection,” said Prof. Martin Rudner, a Carleton University terrorism expert.
In a speech in Toronto on Aug. 9, when he would have already been briefed on the suspected Ottawa group, Minister Toews said he was increasingly concerned about the radicalization taking place in Canada.
“There are homegrown Islamists and other extremists here in Canada,” he said. “In this country, it is the right of all Canadians to hold and discuss a wide range of beliefs.
“But what we are seeing here is not about disagreement and debate. Our concern is with extremist ideologies that lead individuals to espouse or engage in violence. These individuals reject the values on which our country is based, and they must be stopped.” (MS: And how do you propose to do that without engaging the Muslim community sir?)
He said indoctrination and radicalization were occurring partly on the Internet and the speed at which they were radicalizing was proving a challenge for police and intelligence agencies. (MS: Some of these nutjobs are just not deterred by police activity - like the Toronto 18 - you need to be PROactive not REactive. Believe me, they will adapt.)
“While only a small fraction of a percentage of our population is engaged in activities that pose a security threat, we need to thwart such threats before they can be carried out,” he said.
Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/RCMP+dismantle+alleged+Ottawa+terrorist+cell/3441688/story.html#ixzz0xdtiQPyT