No simple, single reason for turning to terrorism


‘None of these cases happens in a vacuum’

By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News August 27, 2010
 There are myriad reasons why “homegrown terrorists” are spurred into action, experts said Thursday.

Some are propelled by deep-seated feelings of disenfranchisement — they’re angry at government and society because they haven’t been able to move up in the world.

Others are well-educated and have good-paying jobs, but commit to terrorism on an intellectual level.

“They see what’s going on in the world and they see what al-Qaeda is selling,” and they buy into the view that the West is subjugating Muslims and Islam, said Andre Gerolymatos, an international security expert at Simon Fraser University in B.C.

In many ways, Gerolymatos said, these individuals are the most dangerous — they know how to access information and have the smarts to, say, put together a bomb.

What causes individuals to act on these feelings varies from person to person, said Fred Burton, a former counterterrorism agent with the U.S. State Department and now vice-president of intelligence at Stratfor, a U.S.-based consulting firm.

Something could come along — such as the loss of a job — that triggers a response, or their actions could just be the result of a “slow boil,” he said. “It’s hard to label any specific reason.”

Canadian law enforcement and intelligence officials allege the three individuals arrested in Ontario this week conspired with individuals or groups at home and abroad — including in Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan — to carry out terrorist activities.

Authorities said they seized from the group schematics, videos, drawings and books outlining the construction of improvised explosive devices. One member of the group had 50 electronic circuit boards designed to detonate such devices remotely.

Authorities said they decided to move in and make the arrests now because they believed the suspects were taking part in plans to finance attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

“The threat of terrorism is very real,” said Rayond Boisvert, assistant director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. “Canada is not immune.”

Burton said the Canadian arrests are probably linked to investigations happening in other countries, such as the United States or Britain, and will likely spawn other investigations.

“None of these cases happen in a vacuum,” he said.

Burton said the fact that one of the suspects — Khurram Syed Sher — is a medical doctor and also appeared as a contestant on Canadian Idol does not surprise him. Terrorism suspects are often well-integrated into the societies in which they live. “You can’t pigeonhole them,” he said.

Testifying before a House of Commons committee earlier this year, Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the agency was investigating more than 200 individuals in Canada for terrorism-related activities.

Of concern, he said, were individuals who are second-or third-generation Canadians, but who have strong links to homelands that are “in distress, are failed states, or that harbour terrorist groups.”

For whatever reason, some of these individuals have become disenchanted with Canada and have engaged in plots to commit violence in Canada or overseas.

“That’s the most worrisome part, I think, of our work today,” Fadden said. “It’s the people who have been in this country for quite a while who are rejecting the very essence of what we are in Canada.”

David Harris, a former CSIS analyst and director of the international and terrorist intelligence program at Insignis, an Ottawa consulting firm, said it’s time for leaders to rethink Canada’s relatively open immigration policies.

“We’ve got to be unembarrassed with saying maybe we’ve got to have a moratorium,” he said. “If people come in great numbers from jurisdictions that narrowly despise liberal democratic countries and values, you might well have a problem in the making. You generally don’t put out the welcome mat to your enemy.”

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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  1. It’s because they’re Muslim?

    So how do you explain the Muslim agents, Muslim cops and Muslim soldiers?

    That’s like the jihadi saying the same thing about you: its because they’re kuffar. you sound just like them do you know that?

    • Yes, Islam is what fuels their notions of racial and religious superiority…

      So how do you explain the Muslim agents, Muslim cops and Muslim soldiers?>>>>

      Stupidity on our part for allowing it…

      The jihadi does say that about the kuffar…If you’d rather stick your head in the sand over it, be my guest..But don’t soil my blog with your muslim apologetics, they aren’t welcome here.

    • Yes it’s because they are muslims. No doubt some do try to fit in to their new surroundings by joining the forces. However at some point what they must do in that force will clash with their belief which cannot accommodate our free society. At which point they must decide to be secular or quit and stay muslim, of course they must stay muslim.

      The jihadis do say that. We are kuffar to them.

      We’re not here saying you better believe what you see here, it is here for your information. If you look for the truth of islam you will come to the same conclusions we have. Try joining a forum discussing these things and meet some of the muslims who verify it. If I didn’t get it straight from muslims I’d have doubts too. CK and I conversed with a couple of muslims for a couple of years, there were some very good discussions but in the end they agreed with the terrorists methods. These were people with families, living in the west arguing that islam trumps our secular laws and that we must conform to sharia. Look up sharia law, then come back and give your view.

  2. Followers of islam are like time bombs, you don’t know when or where they’ll go off, but you know for sure they will.

    And even though they’re like the guy next door 99% of the time, it only takes that 1% to launch a terrorist. Their “religion” expects jihad & the slightest offense can initiate it.

  3. Then there is no hope for you at all.

    You are the kuffar equivalent of the jihadi and that is a match made in hell.

    Have a nice trip!

  4. When 12% of Islamists polled said they supported the Toronto 18 and 14% supported their “cause,” (that would be about 10,000 muzzies in Canada), then there’s a problem – a big problem.

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