Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Influx of terrorists

Guess what this means for us with open borders ...............

Stewart Bell
National Post

Fateh Kamel answers the door of his Montreal townhouse. The alleged ringleader of the Groupe Fateh Kamel, from which Ahmed Ressam emerged, he returned to Canada in January after serving time in a French prison for terrorit-related crimes.

A number of "jihadist returnees" have arrived back in Canada from other countries and some may intend to commit acts of terrorism, according to a declassified intelligence report.

The report, by the government's Integrated National Security Assessment Centre (INSAC), says "a number of other Islamic extremists have recently returned to Canada from abroad.

"Those dedicated extremists possessing terrorist training and Canadian documentation may return to Canada in order to carry out an attack.

"They may also use their documentation to gain access to Western diplomatic missions, or other interests, for the purpose of terrorist attack," says the report, released under the Access to Information Act.

Several Canadians have attended terrorist training camps and participated in international extremist groups. Those that have returned to Canada have raised alarms about the threat they may pose to Canadians.

Last month, the National Post found the alleged former leader of a Canadian extremist cell living in a townhouse in Montreal. Fateh Kamel returned to Canada in January after serving a prison term in France for terrorist-related crimes.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says Mr. Kamel, 45, fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s, recruited volunteers to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s and was associated with Osama bin Laden. He also played a central role in terrorist threats in France, CSIS wrote in a public report.

However, Mr. Kamel denied he was involved in extremism and said he barely knew Ahmed Ressam, an alleged member of his Montreal-based group who tried to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.

The report comes as U.S. officials are concerned about the possibility terrorists might attempt to cross the border from Canada to carry out an attack, a scenario attempted unsuccessfully by Ressam in 1999.

The U.S. State Department offered US$5-million rewards on April 20 for information on Canadians Abderraouf Ben Habib Jdey and Faker Ben Abdelaziz Boussora.

The men trained in Afghanistan and have said they want to die in a terrorist attack.

Authorities are concerned that Jdey may attempt to return to Canada or the United States to plan a terrorist attack. The whereabouts of Jdey and Boussora are unknown, although they may have been spotted in Turkey.

"Terrorist-related activities undertaken by individuals in Canada also include efforts to use Canada as a base for fundraising, recruiting supporters, acquiring, preparing and distributing false travel and identity documents," the INSAC report says.

"While some of these individuals are currently detained in Canada or abroad, others continue to be involved in terrorist-related activities. Al-Qaeda and like-minded Sunni Islamic extremist groups have adherents in both Canada and abroad who possess Canadian status."

The return to Toronto last year of members of the Khadr family, who lived in one of bin Laden's compounds in Afghanistan, prompted debate over how to deal with Canadians who have links to al-Qaeda.

The family patriarch, Ahmed Said Khadr, allegedly collected money in Canada and used it to finance al-Qaeda training camps. He was killed in a shootout with Pakistani security forces in October, 2003.

One of his sons, Abdurahman Khadr, testified in court last summer that "a lot" of Canadians attended terrorist training camps and then returned to Canada, and they "live their everyday life now and are not under arrest or anything."

The report notes that al-Qaeda listed Canada as its fifth most important Christian target in March, 2004, and that in November, 2002, bin Laden named Canada as a target in an audiotaped address.

INSAC (now called the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre) is an interagency group made up of representatives of CSIS, the RCMP, Department of National Defence, Department of Foreign Affairs, Communications Security Establishment and other departments.
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