This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Assessing Terrorist Potentials

"There is no doubt that the number and complexity of terrorist travel investigations has increased."
RCMP briefing document

"A lot of the families I have interviewed will say that their kids started dressing more 'Western' a few months before they left. So, parents thought that whatever 'radical' phase they were going through had passed, and they had nothing more to worry about [relating to ISIL's advice to] blend in to western ways of life."
"So, it's not so much that parents are reluctant to report their kids, which is certainly true, but that the parents themselves are often in the dark about what their children are planning."
Amarnath Amarasingam, Dalhousie University researcher into Canadian foreign fighters

"If we see an attack, we will see more tools -- that is almost a certainty."
"[That said, ongoing outreach by public sfety officials in communities cross the country to raise awareness of the signs of radicalization appears to be making a difference]."
"Families are getting better at recognizing signs and are less reluctant to call in their concerns."
Phil Gurski, (former) CSIS intelligence analyist

Farah Mohamed Shirdon, born in Toronto, now in Syria, has to his dubious credit as an Islamist jihadist accomplished combat service for Islamic State. He has been useful for recruiting and propaganda purposes, and INTERPOL has placed him on their wanted list. How's that for notoriety and achievement for a young man who is someone's "child" in Canada?

Back a year ago the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the commissioner of the RCMP gave out some figures when testifying before a parliamentary commmittee. A rough estimate of between 130 to 145 Canadians had left the country for more interesting pastures abroad in support of terrorist activities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan. Another 80 had returned to Canada. Of that number 14 were considered as prospects for intelligence to be "actively monitoring".

The RCMP had tasked the Canada Border Service Agency to mount "lookouts" on 50 other high-risk travellers still abroad. Should they return to Canada, border officers are presumed capable of recognizing them for questioning purposes. For one thing, Canadian authorities still cannot quite grasp the phenemonon of radicalization, how it erupts and persuades and incites and enlists. Public safety being of high importance, it might be useful to know all of that.

What is known, it seems, is that a radicalized individual who indulges in the need to commit violent acts of brutality in the name of Islam becomes transformed so swiftly that those they leave behind are bewildered, puzzled and disbelieving. Travel plans are arranged swiftly and with assurance and then the separation is complete and the outcomes can be final, as in the instances where word has come that Canadians fighting with Islamic State achieve their goals of martyrdom.

According to a new report issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 foreign fighters representing 100 countries have travelled to Iraq and Syria in the past four years. Half are accounted as having come from neighbouring countries, while a quarter have arrived from Europe and Turkey. Canada's contribution appears to be middling-small in comparison to the robust numbers coming out of France and Belgium, for example.

But then, there is also the fact that Europe is overrun and suffocating with the presence of migrant Muslims; those that have been long established and agitate for special entitlements for Muslims, under their own law, eclipsing those of the adopted country, and those who have taken note of some European countries' generous social assistance programs, comparing them to the threatening and abysmal conditions under which they live in oppressed and conflict-ridden zones where a tyrant can decide to slaughter his own citizens.

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