Friday, January 4, 2013

CSIS: Radical extremists active and growing in Canada

CSIS REPORT: Islamist extremists, "left-wing extremists," "Freemen of the Land," "neo-Nazi's"....all operating inside Canada....
There is something distasteful about mentioning the names of radical terrorist extremist groups. Any publication gives them hope, and renews their energy to achieve even more carnage.
The fact that radical extremists are actively recruiting, planning and, as opportunity presents itself, carrying out attacks on behalf of their distorted, perverse "political and religious hate" campaigns against individual Canadians, and against the Canadian "way of life" in the case of Islamic radical terrorists.
At the same time, First Nations chiefs, including Shawn Atleo, are peacefully protesting living conditions of their people, treaty rights and in general the relationship between First Nations people and the government of Canada. The Prime Minister has, thankfully, agreed to meet with the Chiefs on January 11; however, Chief Spence will continue her hunger strike until the day of the meeting.
The timing of this juxtaposition, of both violent and peaceful protests, points to the breadth of the however segmented and disconnected groups committed to violence, change and protest.
Idle No More today threatens to block the border between Canada and the United States, a move that the Prime Minister was quick to condemn, preferring instead to deal with peaceful protests.
While social media is one of the primary instruments used by all those seeking to generate any political action, including radical training and indoctrination, there is something much more virulent about the continuing evidence of radicalization inside the Canadian community.
I have written many words of serious criticism of the Harper government and will likely find many similar opportunities to continue my protest. Large insensitive and profit-driven corporations that care less than they once did about the environment and the rights of their own workers have also found their attitudes, behaviours and policies the target of acidic criticism in these pages. Other organizations like universities, churches, hospitals and banks have also been political targets in these pages.
However, if and when radical resorting to violence and terrorism replaces respectful political discussion, debate and intellectual push-and-pull, the whole country must become engaged in rejecting the violence and terrorism. The United States, the victim of the attacks on September 11, 2001, has over-reacted in the generation of its Homeland Security Department, creating a hybrid pentagon/criminal investigation unit, and in the process, spent billions of dollars in buildings, equipment and personnel. That is not a path for Canada to use as a model when facing the radical extremist/terrorist threat.
We already know that thousands, if not millions, of assault weapons march secretly across the 49th parallel, many of them finding homes among the potential terrorists inside Canada's borders. We also know that frustrated and gullible young people who are unemployed, poor, disconnected and alienated are "ripe" receptors of radical ideology, radical faith promises, radical transformation and the opportunity for radical adventure. Even respected "christian" organizations use the opportunities in society's 'underbelly' to recruit trainees, disciples, adherents and members, sometimes for life-long commitments. And many of these "converts" are the most energized and passionate about their new ideology, belief system, intense socialization, community and make the most committed and passionate recruiters of new followers. So there is a form of instant gratification, instant learning, instant learning, instant engagement, money, community and the opportunity to work hard on behalf of the chosen group.
And what could be more radical than the opportunity to 'share' an experience of terrorist training, weapons training, religious indoctrination, even brain-washing, potential travel to foreign lands like Pakistan or Afghanistan, Yemen, or even potentially the United States for additional training, especially in the case of the Freedom of the Land radicals.
This "turbulence" and fracturing of the body politic, to include growing numbers of radical movements, on the radar of C.S.I.S., and even part of the public media stories, while not linked together when a single incident occurs and achieves headlines, both regionally and nationally, the problem of violence, as a political instrument, requires increased vigilance, public funding and research, and perhaps even more stringent legislation to deter and contain these movements.
This is one "peace, order and good government" application with which conservatives and liberals can agree, must agree, and generate appropriate measures to deter more recruits, and in the long term, to protect the Canadian people, including parents who might fear the recruitment of their adolescent children, from the growth of this kind of attitude, ideology and violence.
The enemy "within" can and sometimes will be equally as dangerous as any enemy "without"....and Canadians would do well to monitor hate crimes, in their own communities, in their schools, on their athletic teams, in their churches (yes, there is too much violence and hate inside many church communities!) in their universities, corporations and public venues. They would also do well to learn about those forces seeking to destroy our way of life, and teach their children, having learned themselves, how to protect themselves, individually, and collectively.
Islamist extremists radicalizing Canadians at ‘a large number of venues,’ secret report reveals
By Stewart Bell, National Post, January 3, 2013
Islamist extremists are now radicalizing Canadians at “a large number of venues,” according to a secret intelligence report released to the National Post under the Access to Information Act.

While mosques with hardline imams are often singled out for spreading violent Islamist ideology, the study found that radicalization has been taking place at a much longer list of locales.
“Radicalization is not limited to religious centres,” says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, titled Venues of Sunni Islamist Radicalization in Canada.
The heavily censored report identifies the role of prisons, the Internet and foreign travel in turning some Canadians into extremists who wage or support violence. But it also points a finger at the family home.
“Parents have radicalized children,” reads the Intelligence Assessment, “husbands have radicalized wives (and some wives have radicalized or supported their husbands) … and siblings have radicalized each other,” it says.

“As this assessment has demonstrated, a large number of venues have been, and continue to be used to further Islamist extremist ideology. … As radicalization is usually a social process, it can occur wherever humans interact, in the real world or virtual ones,” it says.
Since al-Qaeda’s attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an increasing number of Canadians have become lured into Islamist extremism, an intolerant, anti-democratic and virulently anti-Western worldview that preaches that violence against non-Muslims is a religious duty and a path to paradise.
Several Canadian extremists have travelled abroad to countries such as Pakistan and Somalia with the intention of engaging in what they call jihad, while others have plotted mass casualty attacks in Canada, although none has succeeded.
‘Left-wing extremists,’ anti-government Freemen among Canada’s top domestic terror threats, report reveals
By Stewart Bell, National Post, January 3, 2013
Canadian domestic extremists are capable of orchestrating “serious acts” of political violence, according to a newly released federal intelligence report that blames such groups for nine bombings since 2004.

The incidents catalogued in the “secret” report include attacks on Alberta oil pipelines and three bombings by a Quebec group called the Initiative de Résistance Internationaliste (IRI) that espouses a broad leftist agenda.
While Islamist extremists have consistently ranked as the country’s top terrorist threat since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the report shows that most of Canada’s recent politically motivated attacks were the work of domestic extremists.
The Intelligence Assessment, 2012 Domestic Threat Environment in Canada: Left-Wing/Right-Wing Extremism, was written by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in March. A declassified version was released under the Access to Information Act.

It describes the activities of Canadian fringe groups that use or advocate violence, ranging from “eco-extremists” and “pro-insurrection anarchists” to “revolutionary communists” and the anti-government Freemen on the Land.
The report said 2010 had seen an “unusually high” level of left-wing extremist activity, which it attributed to the G20 summit in Toronto and the Winter Olympics in British Columbia. Attacks that year included the firebombing of a Royal Bank branch in Ottawa and the IRI bombing of a Canadian Forces recruiting centre in Trois-Rivières, Que.

“In contrast, the level of activity in 2011 was low,” the report said. “The relative quiet of 2011, however, should not be viewed as permanent. Canadian left-wing extremists can exploit the negative consequences of the current economic downturn in order to bring attention to perceived policy failures or negative effects of capitalism.”
According to the report, left-wing groups have begun targeting companies linked to the correctional system. For example, a Kingston architectural firm that designed a provincial prison was repeatedly vandalized in 2011 and “wanted posters” featuring photos of architects appeared downtown.

“Since 2010, left-wing extremist publications in Canada have called for the ‘end of the prison industrial complex’ and ‘solidarity with political prisoners.’ In a post-G20 context, left-wing extremists considered comrades sentenced to jail as ‘political prisoners’ and the prison system as ‘oppressive,’” the report said.
The study also examined the threat posed by the Freemen on the Land, who claim they can opt out of Canadian laws by destroying their government-issued identification. An Alberta judge has called the concept “pseudo-legal nonsense” and a “scam” promoted by profiteering con men.
Nonetheless, the report said published estimates put the number of Freemen in Canada at 30,000, a concern because in addition to asserting they are not bound by the law, some also claim the right to defend themselves with deadly force.
The report dismissed the current neo-Nazi and white supremacist threat to Canada, saying such groups were so marginalized they did little but organize poster campaigns and harass minorities and “do not overly propose serious acts of violence.”
But since the report was issued, racist attacks have occurred in cities such as Edmonton. Two alleged members of the neo-Nazi group Blood and Honor Canada were arrested in B.C. last December following alleged attacks on minorities. In one case, a Filipino man was set on fire.
In Ontario, a man with a swastika tattooed on his chest has drawn complaints for recruiting for the White National Front on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. His group does not appear to be active outside the Internet but has encouraged attacks.

“Attack non-whites whenever and however you can, we will pick dates to go on a blitzkrieg, get as many as we can,” read one post on his Twitter page that used the Nazi-era term for a military assault. “We have to show non-white immigrants that its dangerous to come here, and anyone who supports them cops or whatever burn their houses down.” These posts have since been taken down and Durham Region police said they were investigating.
Daryl Johnson, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security analyst and the author of Right Wing Resurgence: How a Domestic Terrorist Threat is Being Ignored, said the post-9/11 focus on Islamist terrorism has left the extreme right wing neglected by investigators.
“I mean, I was just amazed when I worked at Homeland Security how much emphasis was put on the homegrown Muslim radicalization,” he said in an interview. “I just think that threat was over-hyped. And it’s become quite apparent as the far right has kind of reemerged that we’ve had too few resources, particularly in Homeland Security, and lack of interest on Capitol Hill.”

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