RCMP: Canadians taking up Jihad

Published: July 14th 2010
in News » Local

Moe Abdullahi Mohamed who spent 6 months with Al-Shabab
Pic: National Post

Canadians are concerned about the radicalization process of Canadian youth that leads them to join the global jihad.


RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said in a recent interview to QMI that more and more Canadians are beginning to support Islamist causes through violent acts: “What we are seeing is that threat is growing from inside and is going elsewhere. It’s like we are exporters of terrorism to a certain extent.”


Recently, Somali-based Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for a synchronized twin bombing attack in Uganda, which left 76 people watching the World Cup final dead on Sunday.


“This shows you the criminality and terrorism that I have been talking about,” said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. “If you want to fight, go and look for soldiers. Don’t bomb people watching football.”


The group is said to target “enemies of jihad,” and currently is engaged in combat against the Somali Transitional Federal Government and African Union Mission to Somalia. “We are behind the attack because we are at war with them,” said Al-Shabaab spokesperson Mohamud Raghe.


Al-Shabaab, designated by the Canadian government as a terrorist organization, reportedly has some Canadian connections. It is believed that at least six young, Somali-Canadian men have joined Al-Shabaab, which also claims strong ties to Al-Qaida.


One of the six is presumed to have died overseas. In an interview with the Toronto Star, a former member of Al-Shabaab said that the organization taxes locals for its financial support, but actively recruits foreigners as well, for their valued Western passports. 


Michaud, in charge of the Canadian force's national security criminal investigations, described the violence linked to Canadians as “a growing trend that we are very concerned about…Canadians are not necessarily up to speed with the threats that exist in Canada and the threats Canadians pose externally as well.”


He suspects that a somewhere fewer than 100 Canadian individuals have travelled to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, places where Al-Qaida is a serious threat, to join the Jihad movement. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, officials can prosecute Canadians who perform terrorist acts beyond the country’s borders. Michaud says that the RCMP attempts to find such criminals by working alongside local enforcement officials.


Back in Canada, Toronto has been linked to potential terrorism in the past. In 2006, 18 people allegedly linked to an Islamic terrorist cell were arrested for plotting a series of attacks on Ontario sites, such as the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, the Canadian Parliament building, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) headquarters. Dubbed the Toronto 18, they were also accused of planning to behead the Prime Minister. Six of the men were said to have ties with the Al Rahman Islamic Center, a Sunni mosque.


Related articles: (RCMP, Toronto 18, jihad, world cup, Al-Shabaab)
Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 3 times