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Muslim community not to blame for bad apples: Harper
By David Akin and Bryn Weese, Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: August 27, 2010 5:31pm
WHITEHORSE – Individuals, not communities, are to blame for homegrown terrorism, according to the prime minister.
Stephen Harper addressed the recent Ottawa and London, Ont., terrorism arrests Friday, saying he doesn’t believe they will inflame racial or ethnic tensions.
“Well, let’s be very clear: These are not the acts of a community. The vast majority of the people from this community, like the vast majority of all Canadians, want absolutely nothing to do with this and expect the government to vigorously pursue, and expect our police and security forces to vigorously pursue, anybody who dabbles in criminal, or worse, terrorist activity,” Harper said.
“Often, members of these communities help provide information to pursue these kinds of cases.”
Three men – two in Ottawa and one in London – were arrested earlier this week and charged with various terrorism offences, including plotting to make explosive devices and supporting terrorist cells in Afghanistan to attack Canadian troops.
The RCMP moved in to make the arrests Wednesday and Thursday when intelligence suggested one of the men was preparing to travel to the Middle East. According to RCMP officials, the alleged terrorist plot was still “months” away from any attack.
“The issue is that when there are people who are engaged in very bad action, we make sure that our security forces are on top of that and are taking action before any serious damage is done,” Harper said.