Sunday, May 15, 2005

Jihadists in the Great White North

A May 13th article from UPI/Washington Times shows that the terrorist threat also exists north of the US border:

Two declassified reports from the Canadian intelligence service say young Islamic militants with Canadian nationality or residency have been through terrorist training camps in Afghanistan or elsewhere and constitute "a clear and present danger to Canada and its allies."

"The presence of young, committed jihadists in Canada is a matter of grave concern," states one of the reports, highlighting fears that the northern neighbor might become a staging post for terror attacks in the United States.

"They represent a clear and present danger to Canada and its allies and are a particularly valuable resource for the international Islamic terrorist community in view of their language skills and familiarity with Western culture and infrastructure," says the report, titled "Sons of the Father: The Next Generation of Islamic Extremists in Canada."

This paragraph explains why Canadian jihadists are a particular cause for concern:

As legal Canadian residents, the militants would be entitled to cross the border into the United States without a passport -- a serious vulnerability identified by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

It's important to remember that Ahmed Ressam, the would-be bomber of Los Angeles International Airport in December 1999, used Canada as a staging area for his planned operation. It was only due to some alert Border Patrol agents that Ressam was apprehended.

Yet, the jihadist threat is not just directed against America. Many Canadians seem to believe that being fashionably anti-American makes them immune to terrorism. It does not. European countries have realized all too belatedly that radical Islamism is a serious danger. Canada must avoid making the same mistake.


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