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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tackling the Thread of a Threat

"This arrest speaks to our ability to tackle a threat that is multifaceted and constantly evolving. While there was no indication of any plans for a domestic attack, we must remain committed to preventing individuals from traveling abroad to gain training and expertise that could be used in the planning and implementation of future attacks on Canadian soil." 
"He [Kevin Omar Mohamed] was arrested in Waterloo. It’s a file that we’ve been working on for some time."
RCMP Superintendent Lise Crouch, Assistant Criminal Operations Officer for Ontario.
The two men (not shown) were arrested upon landing at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Friday.
National Post/File   The two men (not shown) were arrested upon landing at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Friday.

Weeks after 23-year-old Kevin Omar Mohamed was arrested by members of the Toronto-based Integrated National Security Enforcement Team as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation called Project SWAP, on weapons charges and allegations he was preparing to leave Canada to engage in terrorism, two more Ontario men were arrested on terrorism peace bonds after returning to Toronto from Turkey.

Samuel Aviles and Kadir Abdul had been detailed by Turkish authorities for two weeks after they were found trying to enter Syria's conflict zone. They have not been  charged with crimes of any kind, since the peace bonds are meant to restrict their activities based on concerns they may be preparing to take part in terrorism activities.

They had both left Canada a few days before Kevin Omar Mohamed had been arrested, and they appear to have taken the same route he had done. A scenario that is becoming increasingly common in Canada. According tot he RCMP, their departure from Canada took place on March 23 when they were afterward detained until March 31 in Turkey.

A missing persons report had led police to contact the RCMP. This is the common transit for foreign fighters travelling to Syria and Iraq with the intention of joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in their transit through Turkey. Because of international criticism levelled at Turkey for its unwillingness to close its border to jihadis travelling to Syria, the Turkish authorities have initiated a more stringent procedure of detainment of late.

Samuel Aviles' address happens to be located on the same street in Whitby, Ontario as Kevin Omar Mohamed, arrested on a peace bond, later upgraded to a charge of a single count of terrorism. Mohamed is said to have travelled to Turkey in 2014 to join Jabhat Al-Nusrah, the al-Qaeda faction in Syria. A post on his Twitter account showed an image of travellers gunned down post-Brussels attack.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point issued a report on their analyzing of hundreds of leaked ISIL documents on Monday. These were records of foreign fighters arriving in Syria from Turkey in the years 2013 and 2014. The West Point Center found that 17 of those hundreds of foreign recruits had identified themselves as residents of Canada, seven of whom were citizens.

"The vast majority of the records indicated either that the person was leaving to receive medical treatment [usually in Turkey] or for family reasons. Many of the family reasons were to go home to collect their family and bring them back to the Islamic State", according to the Combating Terrorism Center report.

About one hundred Islamists with "a nexus to Canada" are involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence network. Another hundred have aspirations of leaving Canada to take part in jihad, according to a revelation by CSIS director Michel Coulombe during an early March Senate Committee meeting on National Security and Defence.

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