By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 10/28/14 (Tue)
Canada’s red flag popped up in June 2006 and it had absolutely nothing to do with a maple leaf in the middle of it.
That is when the “Toronto 18” were arrested for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts.
Eighteen Middle Eastern males, mostly juveniles, were living in two houses in a quiet suburb. Their mission was to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They were also commanded to blow up the bridge that links Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario, one of the busiest ports of entry on the U.S./Canada border.
Neighbors grew suspicious of these individuals and contacted authorities. The Toronto 18 were put under surveillance for several months and when the terrorist plots became known police swooped in and took them all down.
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) didn’t exist in 2006, at least not in public, but that was the thread that led to two recent attacks on the Canadian military and the federal government.
A day after Oct. 22 attack at Parliament, every major news organization in Canada was talking about a lapse in security.
Unfortunately, there is a bigger issue here and it appears to be home-grown terrorism. Canadian authorities had better take a serious look at that soon. Security in Parliament is critical, yes, but there are “lone wolves” and “terror cells” just waiting for the right moment, and they have lots of time.
We could argue that the Oct. 20 attack killing one Soldier near Montreal and Wednesday’s attack on Parliament is Canada’s 9/11.
These two attacks were not nearly as catastrophic as we recall in September 2001, however, that nation’s innocence is now lost and such a trusting society is now going to have to change.
In the wake of both strikes, it is now known that the attackers were from Quebec, both had recently converted to Islam and had connections either with ISIS or with other people who had connections with ISIS.
Were they sympathizers with the cause of ISIS or were they lieutenants of this radical organization we all have come to despise?
It seems just too coincidental that not even a week prior to those attacks, Harper announced the Canadian military would be taking part in bombing missions against ISIS.
Then, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police get hold of a video that the Parliament attacker put together about Canada’s mistake in joining the coalition.
This all is just too close to home to pass off as someone else’s problem. Both of these terrorists grew up in Canada and have now angered a free nation. As a result, we need to be on the lookout for people, especially young people who may sympathize with an organization like ISIS or al Qaeda.
Martin Roleau, the 25-year-old who was gunned down by the RCMP after running over two Soldiers in a small-town parking lot on Oct. 20, fit that description well.
Police already had a dossier on him, he recently converted to Islam, he was nearly kicked out of a mosque because of his radical views and his passport was revoked months prior for reasons unknown to the media.
Neighbors reported they were scared of this individual because of his day-to-day activities.
Regardless of investigation, both of last week’s acts are considered terrorist attacks, something that has also happened in various parts of Europe.
No. 1: We need to stand resolute with Canada because the two attacks very well could have happened in the United States. Buffalo and Detroit are two major U.S. cities that could easily be accessed by terrorists in Canada.
No. 2: We all need to be on the lookout for strange activity. We know the border is wide open in spots and that Border Patrol can’t watch 100 percent of the international boundary 100 percent of the time.
No. 3: This brings a new meaning to Neighborhood Watch. Keep an eye out, question and report suspicious activity. It could be an attack plot in the making.
No. 4: ISIS propaganda is having more success than its war machine. It has to be stopped.
CITI-FM in Winnipeg reported there are 100 potential terror cells in Toronto. Granted, it’s a big city like Los Angeles, but in my opinion, one terror cell is too many and all need to be eradicated.
Unfortunately political correctness is going to have to take a back seat to this until it can be stopped. All Americans made sacrifices that limited some freedoms after 9/11 that saved others from being attacked. Now, Canada needs to do the same.