Canadian police seek foreign link in terror probe
Investigators are looking for ties between suspects at home and cells in the U.S. and other countries.
By Beth Duff-Brown and Rob Gillies
TORONTO - Police said yesterday more arrests were likely in an alleged plot to bomb buildings in Canada, while intelligence officers sought ties between the 17 suspects and Islamic terror cells in the United States and five other nations.
A court said authorities had charged all 12 adults arrested over the weekend with participating in a terrorist group. Other charges included importing weapons and planning a bombing. The charges against five minors were not made public.
The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, was believed to be one of the targets the group discussed.
Authorities said more arrests were expected, possibly this week, as police pursue leads about a group that they say was inspired by the violent ideology of al-Qaeda.
"This investigation is not finished," Mike McDonell, deputy commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "Anybody that aided, facilitated or participated in this terrorist event will be arrested and prosecuted in court."
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day also predicted more arrests. Another senior government official told AP on Sunday that more warrants were being gathered and that arrests were likely, possibly this week.
Although Canadian and U.S. officials said over the weekend there was no indication the purported terror group had targets outside Ontario, McDonnell told National Public Radio yesterday that the inquiry had expanded beyond Canada.
"We are working with and sharing our information with our allied countries," he said.
A U.S. official said investigators were looking for connections among those detained in Canada and suspected Islamic extremists held in the United States, Britain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Denmark and Sweden.
American authorities have established that two men from Georgia who were charged this year in a terrorism case had been in contact with some of the Canadian suspects via computer, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
Prosecutors have said the Georgia men, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, traveled to Washington to shoot "casing videos" of the Capitol and other potential targets.
Sadequee, 19, a U.S. citizen who grew up near Atlanta, is accused of lying to federal authorities during an FBI terrorism investigation. Ahmed, 21, a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is charged with providing material support and resources for terrorism.
A U.S. counterterrorism official said the 17 suspects in Canada were an example of a type of group that authorities had been concerned about for some time: self-organized cells of homegrown extremists.
The official, also on condition of anonymity, said Canada's government rightfully considered the 17 a serious threat because there was evidence the group was far along in planning attacks.
Canadian Blindness to Terror
By Patrick Poole
Toronto. The accused were nabbed in a terrorist sting that authorities say prevented them from carrying out a plot to blow up various sites around Toronto with three tons of ammonium nitrate.
The name Zaynab Khadr may not be familiar to many Americans, but it is to terrorism analysts. Ms. Khadr, who appeared Saturday at the courthouse to advise and support the families of the accused along with well-known jihadist preacher Aly Hindy, is a member of what Daniel Pipes has called "Canada's First Family of Terrorism."
Her father, Ahmed Sa'id Khadr, was one of Osama bin Laden's closest lieutenants and a top al-Qaeda financier who received $325,000 from the Canadian government from 1988-1997 for his "charitable work" in Afghanistan. He was also involved in the 1995 bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan, was arrested by Pakistani authorities, and released only through the intervention of then-Canadian Prime Minister Jean-Paul Chrétien. Immediately after his release, he enrolled several of his sons in al-Qaeda operated terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. He was killed in a gun battle with Pakistani troops in 2003 near the Afghan border, during which his son (Zaynab's brother), Abdul, was also shot and paralyzed. Abdul and his mother live in Toronto.
But Zaynab shouldn't be judged for the sins of her family; she has her own activities to answer for. When she returned to Canada last year, Royal Canadian Mounted Police anti-terrorist officers seized her laptop, cell phone, and other documents which proved to be a rich treasure-trove of al-Qaeda intelligence. In response, she vehemently denied that the family had any ties to al-Qaeda and said that the information found in her possession wasn't hers.
At 26, Zaynab Khadr is a twice-divorced single mother. One former suitor was none other than a Sudanese terrorist who purchased one of the trucks used in the 1995 Egyptian embassy bombing in Pakistan. She has been accused by Canadian intelligence authorities of formerly helping her father funnel money for various al-Qaeda and for helping her brother, Abdullah, run an al-Qaeda training camp.
Osama bin Laden was also amongst the guests at her 1999 wedding. And that her family lived in bin Laden's compound in Afghanistan,
But, of course, her family doesn't have any al-Qaeda ties, Khadr insists.
When she isn't helping the families of terrorism suspects, Khadr spends her time pressuring the Canadian government to obtain the release of her youngest brother, Omar, who currently resides at Guanatanamo Bay. At 17-years-old, he is the youngest person in U.S. custody related to terrorist activities. When he was 15, he was the sole survivor of a battle between non-Afghan al-Qaeda fighters and the 19th U.S. Special Forces Group at Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. After the battle ended, Sergeant First Class Christopher J. Speer, a Special Forces medic, was attending to the wounded when Omar jumped up from between two mud-brick buildings, threw a grenade at Sgt. Speer, killing him. Omar was shot twice (non-fatally), and was found surrounded by a large cache of grenades, ammunition, and automatic weapons.
After Omar's capture, the National Post (one of Canada's largest circulation papers), wrote a glowing portrait of Omar, including quotes from his doting sister Zaynab, entitled "The Good Son."
The long ordeal of Canada's accommodation of the Khadr family perfectly illustrates the utter inability or unwillingness for our northern neighbors to deal with their internal terrorist threat. As recent days have shown, many Canadians are content to let their potentially fatal immigration policies and lunatic multiculturalism slowly asphyxiate their society. The suicidal intentions of our Canuck friends and neighbors would be all well and fine if it didn't also threaten to have homicidal consequences for America, as well.