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Former Ottawa resident John Maguire a.k.a. Abu Anwar al-Canadi, a Muslim convert, appeared in an Islamic State video yesterday urging Canadian Muslims to conduct lone-wolf attacks in Canada or travel to the Middle East for jihad. Canada shuttered its embassy in Cairo due to security concerns and reportedly asked Egyptian authorities to close down roads leading to the embassy.
A 15-year-old boy from Montreal has been charged with robbing a store to fund his travel to the Middle East to join a terrorist group. Two suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers Party were detained after trying to enter Canada from the US and obtain asylum.
The Edmonton police chief asked for counterterrorism training for his frontline officers. The newly released annual report of Canada's Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre indicated that 234 of 1,143 intelligence disclosures to police and security agencies this past year involved terrorist financing or threats to Canadian security.
Defence Minister Nicholson said two Canadian fighter jets dropped four bombs yesterday on an Islamic State position outside Kirkuk, Iraq. Nicholson claimed that the strike, which is Canada's fourth so far in the air campaign against the terror group, helped to extend the buffer area between Iraqi and Islamic State forces.
Police are looking further into the case of Franck Gervais, who impersonated a Canadian soldier during recent Remembrance Day celebrations; Gervais was charged with impersonating a public officer and unlawful use of a military uniform. A report raised questions about the continuing viability of Canada's Arghandab Irrigation Rehabilitation Project in Afghanistan.
The Defense Department said that a Canadian airstrike with a laser-guided bomb destroyed a piece of Islamic State artillery near Baiji, Iraq. About 600 Canadian troops are currently deployed in the coalition air campaign in Iraq. Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian-born woman and former Israeli soldier, has reportedly joined a Kurdish militia in Iraq that is fighting the Islamic State.
Canadian fighter jets dropped laser-guided missiles on Islamic State targets near Fallujah in Iraq, in the first Canadian airstrikes of the campaign against the terrorist group. Defense Minister Nicholson said that "[t]oday's strike demonstrates our government's firm resolve to tackle the threat of terrorism and to stand with our allies." An intelligence official of the Free Syrian Army said Canada should use its resources to train FSA fighters instead of conducting an air campaign, and warned that extremists are bringing antiaircraft weapons into Syria from a warehouse in Turkey.
RCMP Commissioner Paulson said that a video made by Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau before the attack included reference to "Allah" and cited Canada's foreign policy. The RCMP chief said the attack was motivated by Bibeau's "distorted world view" and not by mental illness; he also said last week's terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Quebec were not related to each other, and warned that Canada faces a "serious" threat. Public Safety Minister Blaney presented new draft antiterrorism legislation to Parliament.
The RCMP is monitoring 93 "high-risk travelers" who may pose an extremist threat but has not arrested any of them in the wake of two terrorist attacks this week. Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was not on the list of high-risk travelers, although he had recently tried to travel to Syria and allegedly had jihadist connections in Canada.
Prime Minister Harper called yesterday's shootings in Ottawa at the War Memorial and Parliament Hill a terrorist attack, and vowed to strengthen Canada's antiterrorism laws. The attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was shot dead by security officials after he had fatally shot a Canadian soldier and fired shots inside Parliament. It is still unclear whether Zehaf-Bibeau, who was said to be inspired by the Islamic State, acted alone. Canada raised its terrorist threat level from low to medium on Oct. 16 after deciding to join the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State, and security at military bases and other facilities has been increased following the two terrorist attacks this week.