June 3, 2006


How Internet monitoring sparked a CSIS investigation into a suspected homegrown terror cell (MICHELLE SHEPHARD, 6/03/06, Toronto Star)

Last night's dramatic police raid and arrest of as many as a dozen men — with more to come — marks the culmination of Canada's largest ever terrorism investigation into an alleged homegrown cell.

The chain of events began two years ago, sparked by local teenagers roving through Internet sites, reading and espousing anti-Western sentiments and vowing to attack at home, in the name of oppressed Muslims here and abroad.

Their words were sometimes encrypted, the Internet sites where they communicated allegedly restricted by passwords, but Canadian spies back in 2004 were reading them. And as the youths' words turned into actions, they began watching them.

According to sources close to the investigation, the suspects are teenagers and men in their 20s who had a relatively typical Canadian upbringing, but — allegedly spurred on by images of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and angered by what they saw as the mistreatment of Muslims at home — became increasingly violent.

Police say they acquired weapons, picked targets and made detailed plans.

They travelled north to a "training camp" and made propaganda videos imitating jihadists who had battled in Afghanistan. At night, they washed up at a Tim Hortons nearby.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 3, 2006 3:48 PM

If we use domestic surveillance to arrest terrorists before they act, the terrorists will have won.

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 4:54 PM

Pepys, Please elaborate. You seem to be saying that we shouldn't use all and any means to stop terrorists before they act.

Posted by: erp at June 3, 2006 6:02 PM

I was just being a smart-ass.

Every time I see an article like this I hear the chorus of "If you do that, the terrorists will have won!".

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 6:13 PM

And by "this" I mean an article about successful counter-terrorism investigations.

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 6:14 PM


Posted by: oj at June 3, 2006 6:16 PM


Hear, hear. The only time I ever took that line seriously was when I saw the New Yorker cartoon a couple of years ago that had one semi-soused businessman saying to another:

"I can't shake the feeling that if I don't have that third martini, the terrorists will have won."

Posted by: Peter B at June 3, 2006 6:43 PM

Peter, It's Saturday evening. The terrorists are losing. :)

Posted by: jdkelly at June 3, 2006 7:12 PM

Pep, top quote the AOG, "Whew"!

Posted by: erp at June 3, 2006 7:54 PM

Oj: wise-acre from now on.

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 10:09 PM