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.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Nations Under (Islamist Jihadi) Threat

"How do you make that important transition from intelligence information to prosecutorial evidence? All of that is part of what we will be examining."
Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, Ottawa
"All of them could potentially be a threat, definitely We have no information of an imminent attack, but we have to remain vigilant, the threat is real."
"These individuals posing a threat to our security at home have violated Canadian law. The RCMP is investigating these individuals and will seek to put them behind bars, where they belong."
CSIS director Michel Coulombe

That assurance was issued to the public by Mr. Coulombe in 2014. Two years later, little has been accomplished in isolating, charging and arresting Muslim Canadians who have returned from the fields of conflict in the Middle East and Africa. News that 60 individuals have returned to Canada from fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and assorted terrorist groups of which there is no lack in the aforementioned geographies has once again surfaced.

And none of them has been charged. In 2013 Parliament took steps in the creation of four criminal laws to make it illegal and a criminal act to leave the country or to attempt to leave for the purpose of taking part in terrorist actions. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has a figure of 180 from Canada currently aiding extremist movements abroad. Most of these jihadis will eventually plan to return to Canada, walk the streets of its cities, and muse about their talents, how best they can be put to use in universal jihad.

CSIS Director Michel Coulombe once again testified before the Senate's committee on national security explaining the concern that among those who survive the conflicts they take part in and return to Canada, their combat skills could prove downright handy in launching terrorist attacks here. Their experience abroad gives them a certain cachet among the admirers of Islamist terror, aspiring themselves to become jihadis and perhaps even martyrs.

Those with the experience are well versed in what can be found abroad relating to those opportunities. Their experience gives them credibility and respect, and if they decide to become recruiters to terror, to raise funds for the cause, and organize domestic cells, they have all the requisite credentials to impress followers anxious to be as they are. 

As an explanation for the lack of charges and arrests, both the Commissioner and the Minister pointed to Canadian law requiring more than merely incriminating intelligence, but hard evidence being required to pass as sufficient to convict someone for crimes as outlined in those 2013 laws; guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt, and since investigators are not known to be welcome in the confines of jihadi strongholds to witness what they theorize first-hand, evidence is hard to come by.

CSIS itself is an national intelligence investigating body, with no law enforcement capacity so that terrorism-related criminal charges must be the work of the RCMP. Policing agents have turned to the use of surveillance, immigration law, detention, peace bonds and tactics meant to disrupt, to watch, to remove and to thwart activities of those who have returned from conflict zones. This is time- and labour-consuming, taking up the attention of officers far in excess of the number of returnees being watched.

The benefit of the doubt, in other words, is scrupulously maintained by Canada's justice system, in view of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Even for those 'citizens' who subscribe to terrorism as a priority plank in the religion built on a platform of conquest, violence, assassinations, riven with sectarian hatreds and tribal animosities complicating the focus on the infidels and the Jews who will have their turn once Islamists have vented their acidic spleen in mutual slaughter.

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