Results tagged “Canada”
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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.
Authorities placed parts of central Ottawa on lockdown after gunfire erupted at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill; a soldier was shot dead at the War Memorial. One gunman, Michael Joseph Hall a.k.a. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Muslim convert, was killed, and others are being sought. Officials have not yet disclosed the nature of the attack or the identity of the attackers. The FBI is assisting with the investigation of the shootings, which occurred two days after an Islamic State sympathizer ran down two Canadian soldiers in what the government called a "terrorist attack" in Quebec.
Martin Couture-Rouleau a.k.a. Ahmad Rouleau, a Muslim convert from a Montreal suburb, was shot and killed by police after running down two Canadian soldiers in the parking lot of a suburban mall. Described by the police as "radicalized," Rouleau had previously posted jihadist propaganda online.
The House of Commons authorized the deployment of Canadian troops to join the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq; Prime Minister Harper said Canadian troops will not be deployed on the ground. He also said Canada will join in coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria only if the Damascus government fully supported them. The 600-strong Canadian force will be based out of Kuwait. Canadian authorities are conducting 63 investigations on 90 current or would-be foreign fighters in Iraq or Syria. Intelligence chief Michel Coulombe has said that as many as 145 Canadians are involved with terrorist groups abroad and that some 80 foreign fighters linked to terrorist groups have returned to Canada. Coulombe also warned that Islamic State operatives with US or Australian passports could easily enter Canada.
Michel Coulombe, head of Canada's spy agency CSIS, recently stated that "well over 100 Canadians have left Canada to support or train with terrorist movements," and that some are women, and some are Canadian born. He said Canadians should not assume that a mass-casualty attack could not happen in Canada. Last month Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, a former security guard at a Vancouver mall, was charged in absentia for traveling to Syria to fight for an Islamist group.
An Ontario Superior Court judge acquitted London, Ont. pathologist Khurram Sher of a terrorism charge after deciding that Sher had not shown the requisite intent to join a terrorist group. One of Sher's alleged co-conspirators, Misbahuddin Ahmed, was found guilty of terrorism charges in July; authorities have banned publication of the identity of the third alleged co-conspirator, said to be the ringleader. During a seven-month RCMP investigation, authorities intercepted thousands of communications between the three men showing their plan to raise money for jihad and make and use explosives in Canada; over 56 circuit boards for detonating remotely-controlled bombs were found at the home of one of the conspirators.
British Columbia resident Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, became the first Canadian charged with traveling abroad for the purpose of terrorist training; he allegedly traveled to Syria in January to join an Islamist group and has not returned. At least 130 Canadians are said to be engaged in extremist activity abroad. Last week Misbahuddin Ahmed, 34, a former hospital worker from Ottawa, was convicted of convicted of conspiring with two other men to facilitate terrorist activity and participating in a terrorist group; they were accused of planning to use explosives for violent jihad against targets in Canada.
Mohamed Hersi, 28, a Toronto university graduate who was born in Somalia, became the first Canadian convicted under a new law that penalizes "leaving or attempting to leave Canada" to commit terrorism. Hersi was arrested at the airport in Toronto in 2011 as he was trying to board a one-way flight to Cairo, on his way to join Shabaab in Somalia.
The government added the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN), based in Mississauga, Ont., to its list of terrorist organizations for sending millions of dollars to Hamas-linked groups. Canada recently warned its citizens against travel to Nigeria due to the risk of terrorism, violence, and kidnapping. Members of Canada's elite special operations force, CSOR, are providing counterterrorism training to the Nigerien military.
A police officer testified in a Toronto court that Mohamed Hersi, a Somali-Canadian arrested in 2011 while trying to fly to Somalia to join Shabaab, saw himself as a "silent assassin" and leadership type in the al Qaeda-linked group. Hersi said one of his relatives had been arrested for trying to bomb an Ohio shopping mall, and also claimed to have been friends with Mohamed Ibrahim Elmi, a former University of Toronto student who died fighting for Shabaab in late 2009 or early 2010.
As the last 100 Canadian soldiers prepared to return home from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Harper hailed the military's efforts there, where over 40,000 Canadian troops served and 162 were killed. The government spent $1.65 billion on development projects in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013, and plans to continue to help build the Afghan economy.
The Foreign Ministry is looking into reports that Canadian jihadist Damian Clairmont, a convert to Islam, has died fighting for the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. A Canadian think tank has estimated that as many as 100 Canadians have traveled to Syria for jihad. Another Canadian jihadist, Ali Dirie, is said to have been killed in Syria last fall.
The government added both the Caucasus Emirate and Boko Haram to its list of terrorist organizations. Other groups added to Canada's list this year include the Al Nusrah Front and Mokhtar Belmokhtar's al-Muwaqi'un Bil Dima, as well as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.