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Canadian Terrorists: Who Are They?


cybercoma

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There has been a bit of discussion lately about Canadian terrorists, particularly around whether we should allow dual-citizenship, stop letting in refugees, and/or be more selective about where Canada's immigrants come from.

CSIS released a report about Canadian terrorists and the results shatter a lot of the myths that are floating around the forum.

A Study of Radicalisation: The Making of Islamists Extremists in Canada Today.

The report tells us that terrorists in Canada mostly commit their acts of terror abroad, are almost always born in Canada, rarely are they immigrants, and never have they been refugees. The report goes on further to say that not only are they not immigrants, but they almost never come from marginalized groups and are typically fully integrated into Canada. In other words, they don't come from those immigrant enclaves that struggle or refuse to integrate into Canada. In fact, CSIS says these terrorists are usually "highly integrated into Canadian society."

MI5 also conducted a study in Britain that was released recently and found very similar results. MI5's study went further to say that "religious identity actually protects against violent radicalization," which flies in the face of generally accepted forum commentary.

What does this tell us at the end of the day?

Well, the experience of immigration, immigrant communities, and religion are almost never the source of terrorism here in Canada. People are not bringing extremist ideas with them here, despite popular belief to the contrary. Furthermore, the most religious are the least radicalized. The findings of CSIS (as well as MI5 and some American intelligence experts) has found that Islamic Extremists, who are religious by definition of course, are typically radicalized politically well before they adopt their extreme religion stance. In other words, there is no direct path from being deeply religious to becoming radicalized, rather it seems the radical become deeply religious.

What CSIS and others believe these terrorist activities are really about is political motives, territorial claims about securing the "land of Islam." These terrorist activities and their narratives seem to have more in common, at least according to CSIS, with the IRA and FLQ than with Muslim communities around the world.

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Muslim immigrants may not bring terrorist ideas with them, but some groups certainly import imams that preach jihad in the mosques. That's got to have an effect. The Council on American Islamic Relations, and it's Canadian counterpart, which at one time was a go to organization by the US govt says right on its website that its goal is to have the US (and Canada) become a Muslim state. They may not promote violence for that aim, but it's not a far jump for some people. And yes, some fundamentalist Christians have the same idea for a Christian state, much more so in the US, but do we really want to bring in more people with that mindset.

My impression of the Canadian young jihadis we've heard about is that they are social losers and this is a way for them to attain an identity and sense of status in their lives. Worldwide, in fact, the radicals mostly come from middle class backgrounds, rather than being poor and oppressed. It's middle class people who feel stymied in their lives for some reason and externalize that to a greater cause. I think this was true of radicals in the 60's as much as it is now.

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So no longer are the terrorists foreigners.

Of course not. We've welcome them into our midst, they've become citizens, and their children are native born Canadians, "well integrated" into Canadian society, who in some cases nonetheless bear more allegiance to "the land of Islam" than to Canada. And I'm sure there are native born Canadians of European origins who may become terrorists too. It's only one small step from being a "peace flotilla" activist fighting Israeli soldiers to partnering with Hamas and becoming a terrorist.

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From this report, we should then be framing the public discussion around this as rooting out these networks world wide.

This means -

1. Promoting stability in countries that are at risk of falling to such groups.

2. Providing for domestic and international security measures to monitor networks.

What else ?

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Not sure how much you can really say based on that report, as large chunks of it including some of the most key sections are blanked out. The main conclusion of the study is that it is hard to pin down a specific profile for Canadian terrorists.

uhhh... the CSIS analysis on all known Canadian extremists:

... almost always native-born Canadians, rarely immigrants, and never refugees. They tend to have “a high level of academic achievement,” often a university degree, especially in “scientific, computer and engineering fields.”

Not only are they not immigrants, but they don’t tend to be found within “parallel society” immigrant enclaves. “None appeared to have been marginalized within Canadian society,” CSIS says, and the great majority appear “highly integrated into Canadian society.” And they aren’t radicalized by attending a mosque.

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From this report, we should then be framing the public discussion around this as rooting out these networks world wide.

This means -

1. Promoting stability in countries that are at risk of falling to such groups.

Good luck with that. Take Egypt - promoting stability meant helping to prop up dictatorship that played a role in creating Islamic extremism that now is running the country. Pakistan, supporting a govt that supports the very terrorists we are fighting. Saudi Arabia - exporting the religious underpinning to jihad, right in Canada and the US by funding madrassas. I don't think we have a clue on how to promote stability in a positive way, and stability at any cost can come to have a pretty high price.

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From this report, we should then be framing the public discussion around this as rooting out these networks world wide.

This means -

1. Promoting stability in countries that are at risk of falling to such groups.

I love this one, because we tried that. One recent example I will use is that Libya was stable before Canada/NATO helped destabilize Libya which has indeed fallen victim to such groups. We helped undermine a stable government to support a rag tag bunch of loosely affiliated terrorists groups that eventually took down Gaddafi. Now that a power vaccum has been created, Libya is still trying to get back to some quality of life now that cities have been battered by a 'civil war' in which we helped.

We can promote stability by trying to take care of our own here at home before we think of trying to 'help' others.

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Good luck with that.

Not sure if you have been following - but Harper recently supported France's initiative to restabilize Mali.

Take Egypt - promoting stability meant helping to prop up dictatorship that played a role in creating Islamic extremism that now is running the country.

Promoting stability no longer means propping up dictatorships in 2013. We have GW Bush to thank for that, by the way.

Pakistan, supporting a govt that supports the very terrorists we are fighting. Saudi Arabia - exporting the religious underpinning to jihad, right in Canada and the US by funding madrassas. I don't think we have a clue on how to promote stability in a positive way, and stability at any cost can come to have a pretty high price.

There are still Saudi Arabias and countries like that, but they are dying off.

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Not sure if you have been following - but Harper recently supported France's initiative to restabilize Mali.

I do too, but don't hold much hope for a positive outcome. The "govt" lacks legitimacy, there isn't really anybody to hand over the keys to once order is restored. And the terrorists just melt away, only to reappear as soon as the French leave. I doubt if France or her allies have the stomach or the money to maintain a long term presence there. And even if they do, Nato has had a long term presence in Astan, and everybody knows as soon as they leave it will sink back to anarchy or Taliban control. Karzai, our boy, has no legitimacy either, and isn't exactly clean. Mali could easily go the way of Astan and just turn into a quagmire.
There are still Saudi Arabias and countries like that, but they are dying off.

Maybe, but SA does't look to ill yet, and it's really a one off in exporting jihad. But look at the countries of the Arab spring - not looking too good there. Edited by Canuckistani
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I do too, but don't hold much hope for a positive outcome. The "govt" lacks legitimacy, there isn't really anybody to hand over the keys to once order is restored. And the terrorists just melt away, only to reappear as soon as the French leave. I doubt if France or her allies have the stomach or the money to maintain a long term presence there. And even if they do, Nato has had a long term presence in Astan, and everybody knows as soon as they leave it will sink back to anarchy or Taliban control. Karzai, our boy, has no legitimacy either, and isn't exactly clean. Mali could easily go the way of Astan and just turn into a quagmire.

Depends how they handle the situation in Mali. In Afghanistan NATO made numerous mistakes just like the mistakes that the US made in Iraq so if France and any AU/UN troops who deploy there learn from the mistakes made in Afghanistan and Iraq we can see serious change otherwise as you said it will repeat itself and there would just be another barely stable nation to worry about.

Maybe, but SA does't look to ill yet, and it's really a one off in exporting jihad. But look at the countries of the Arab spring - not looking too good there.

Look at Egypt though, I see it as a sign that they will not take that crap anymore since as soon as the government tried to get more power the people had a thing or two to say about it. Maybe stability is a long way off for them but I think they are making small steps in the right direction.

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Look at Egypt though, I see it as a sign that they will not take that crap anymore since as soon as the government tried to get more power the people had a thing or two to say about it. Maybe stability is a long way off for them but I think they are making small steps in the right direction.

The Islamists seem to be dominant, and if the people who resist them get too violent the army will step in and set up another dictatorship. Looks like it could go either way. I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

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Would the statement that SOME countries are responsible for being the creators of "terrorists" by their actions within certain countries, be true? When 9/11 happen, I read an article that said that the word "communists" was being replaced by "terrorists", changing the enemy from Russia/China to the middle-East.

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Canadian terrorist, in my opinion, are individual(s) that holds a Canadian passport while participating in terrorist-related activities.

I would define 'terrorist-related activities' as engaging in activities that can or may result in harm or death of others to further one's own belief or agenda.

I considered Hell Angels, and similar gangs to be terrorist organizations.

Edited by Sleipnir
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Would the statement that SOME countries are responsible for being the creators of "terrorists" by their actions within certain countries, be true? When 9/11 happen, I read an article that said that the word "communists" was being replaced by "terrorists", changing the enemy from Russia/China to the middle-East.

You're reifying countries with this statement. Country is an abstract concept. A country doesn't actually do anything. Not to be pedantic. It's just not informative to think about these things this way. If we really want to understand terrorism, we ought to think a bit deeper about the what actually breeds terrorists. The CSIS study indicates that it's territorial. This is a good start, but what encourages them to become politically radical in the first place? This is more complicated to understand.

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Guest Derek L

What CSIS and others believe these terrorist activities are really about is political motives, territorial claims about securing the "land of Islam." These terrorist activities and their narratives seem to have more in common, at least according to CSIS, with the IRA and FLQ than with Muslim communities around the world.

Exactly, nobody 30 years ago suggested we should limit immigration from the likes of Germany or Ireland, just those that adhered to the Baader-Meinhof or Dail Eireann type political mindset……….I’m certain we can agree that characterizing a caste of people by the actions of a tiny minority is not a good thing from a philosophical point of view, yet we all are guilty of such actions………..Like terrorists, society as a whole is politically motivated, and if playing umbrage with a group of people helps further ones own political agenda……………….

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter……Or to paraphrase Clausewitz, War, and in this case “asymmetric terrorism”, is the continuation of politics by other means........

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We've welcome them into our midst, they've become citizens, and their children are native born Canadians, "well integrated" into Canadian society, who in some cases nonetheless bear more allegiance to "the land of Islam" than to Canada. And I'm sure there are native born Canadians of European origins who may become terrorists too. It's only one small step from being a "peace flotilla" activist fighting Israeli soldiers to partnering with Hamas and becoming a terrorist.

I agree. Allegiance to Canada is one of the primary reasons I do not support dual-citizenship. It's natural to have split allegiance if you're not native-born, but a further and more disturbing problem are the "home-grown terrorists". This is a reason why I support the promotion of Canadian nationalism through means such as much increased teaching of Canadian history in schools (and other venues, such as those great "A Part of our Heritage" commercials). The majority of Canadians know more about US history and politics than they do their own. Multicultural policies also pose a problem to allegiance. It really, really disturbs me the direction this country has taken the last few decades in eroding Canadian nationalism. How "well integrated into Canadian society" can these home-grown terrorists really be when they have more allegiance to ie: foreign Arab/Muslim land than their own? Clearly feelings of Arab/Muslim nationalism is much stronger within these people than Canadian nationalism.

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I agree. Allegiance to Canada is one of the primary reasons I do not support dual-citizenship. It's natural to have split allegiance if you're not native-born, but a further and more disturbing problem are the "home-grown terrorists". This is a reason why I support the promotion of Canadian nationalism through means such as much increased teaching of Canadian history in schools (and other venues, such as those great "A Part of our Heritage" commercials). The majority of Canadians know more about US history and politics than they do their own. Multicultural policies also pose a problem to allegiance. It really, really disturbs me the direction this country has taken the last few decades in eroding Canadian nationalism. How "well integrated into Canadian society" can these home-grown terrorists really be when they have more allegiance to ie: foreign Arab/Muslim land than their own? Clearly feelings of Arab/Muslim nationalism is much stronger within these people than Canadian nationalism.

Do you think people born here are innately more devoted to Canada? People born here don't necessarily have allegiance to this country. It's not a foreigner that was selling Navy intel to the Russians. In fact, I would hypothesize that people who become Canadian citizens are likely more dedicated to Canada, since they became citizens by choice, not by default.

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1. If there are no immigrant terrorists other than a waste of money and paper what is the deal? Yes my gosh the conservatives wasting paper? Look at the debt this ain't knew why not address the fact they have been debt spending for 7 years at the highest rate in Canadian history instead?

2. Will immigrants be offended to loose their citizenship if they shoot at the military or blow stuff up? Are all those immigrants who blow up governments stuff and random people going to not vote conservative anymore? Cause you know they must have loved the Conservative Party's platform before the loss of citizenship for commiting mass murder and terrorizing the public? Hell why come over here for citizenship just to go overseas again to wage war? Was the 5-7 years waiting for citizenship part of the great plan to get down to those attacks... 7 years of planning? and somehow Canadian citizenship as a dual national is the golden peice of pie that will allow one to succeed at their attack?

yes it is stupid, but it hasn't stopped the US from doing this for commiting a crime - no terrorism required.

Edited by shortlived
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Both Islamic terrorists have attacked Israeli targets, and Israeli Mossad terrorists (using Canadian passports) carried out an assasination attack on a Muslim leader. I think Canada should be more careful more in this regards, and should stop backing Israel over using Canadian passports to carry out terrorist attacks.

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Do you think people born here are innately more devoted to Canada? People born here don't necessarily have allegiance to this country. It's not a foreigner that was selling Navy intel to the Russians. In fact, I would hypothesize that people who become Canadian citizens are likely more dedicated to Canada, since they became citizens by choice, not by default.

No I never said. I don't care where they any citizen was born, as long as you have primary allegiance to Canada over any other country.

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I just said to you that people with only Canadian citizenships don't necessarily have any more allegiance to this country. What makes you think people with dual-citizenship have less allegiance than the average Canadian? Nothing I've ever seen about this would even remotely suggest that. In fact, I doubt there's very much difference between those Canadian citizens with other citizenships and those without. Since evidently you seem to think enough of them are less loyal to Canada than others, do you have any researched evidence of this?

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