A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[BLOG-LIKE POSTING] If only all terrorists were like Canada’s terrorists

The accused in the 2006 Toronto terrorism conspiracy are about to face trial.

These 18 very unfortunate young men are certain to face an uphill battle, what with one accused being quoted (on audio and video tape recordings gathered by informants and police) as hoping for a series of terrorist attacks on a “much much greater on a scale [than the 2005 London subway bombings]…you do it once and you make sure they can never recover again.” Some of the components of this spectacularly ambitious scheme include the occupation of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre headquarters in downtown Toronto, the explosion of a truck bomb in Toronto’s Bay Street financial district, at least one drive-by shooting massacre somewhere, and the occupation of the Canadian federal parliament buildings in Ottawa with the aim of holding the complex and its inhabitants hostage in exchange for the release of Muslim prisoners and a Canadian withdrawal from Afghanistan. (The press reports at the time weren’t clear on whether or not the plotters planned to decapitate Prime Minister Stephen Harper from the get-go or if they wanted keep him alive as a hostage.) The new “Rome,” the released transcripts quote people as saying, needed to be destroyed at whatever the price.

This sort of radical sentiment does dovetail with quotes from news articles back when the story broke in June 2006, revealing how at least one of the wives of the accused went on the record in an online forum that she detested the country.

When it came time to write up the premarital agreement between Zakaria Amara and Nada Farooq, Ms. Farooq briefly considered adding a clause that would allow her to ask for a divorce.

She said that Mr. Amara (now accused of being a leader of the alleged terror plot that led to the arrests of 17 Muslim men early this month) had to aspire to take part in jihad.

“[And] if he ever refuses a clear opportunity to leave for jihad, then i want the choice of divorce,” she wrote in one of more than 6,000 Internet postings uncovered by The Globe and Mail.

[. . .]

Ms. Farooq’s hatred for [Canada] is palpable. She hardly ever calls Canada by its name, rather repeatedly referring to it as “this filthy country.” It’s a sentiment shared by many of her friends, one of whom states that the laws of the country are irrelevant because they are not the laws of God.

In late April of 2004, a poster asks the forum members to share their impressions of what makes Canada unique. Nada’s answer is straightforward.

“Who cares? We hate Canada.”

Despite all of these seemingly damning statements, even as the story broke fundamentalist-linked imam Aly Hindy went on the record in 2006 as saying that he thought that the plotters weren’t being serious, that they were just posing.

Aly Hindy, a hard-line Toronto-area imam who says he knows nine of the 17 alleged plotters personally, says he believes that if there was talk about a beheading plot, it was the kind of empty, though menacing, bravado that he has often seen in messages posted in radical Islamic Internet chat rooms. “I just think these people were bulls–ting,” said Hindy, who told NEWSWEEK that of the nine suspects that he knows, he believed only “two or three” may have seriously considered violence. Those two or three were much more interested, Hindy claimed, in going to a place like Afghanistan to fight jihad than launching attacks in Canada (all 17 suspects are reportedly Canadian citizens).

There might be something very little to that. The alleged conspirators organized a “training camp” in rural Ontario that, as a lawyer for one of the defendants said, was so badly organized that attendants had to use the washroom in a (stereotypically Canadian) Tim Horton’s coffee shop for want of sanitary facilities of their own. There does seem to be some uncertainty as to whether these alleged conspirators, for all their dislike of Canada and Canadian policies, were actually making plans or simply talking wildly amongst themselves, and the role of informants in leading to the arrest of these men has been questioned. Overall, these men seem to have demonstrated a very nearly funny inability to actually be competent terrorists. They weren’t even sure who the Canadian prime minister was.

Suspect X: “What happens, what happens at the Parliament?”

Suspect Y: “We go and kill everybody.”

Suspect X: “And then what?”

Suspect Z: “And then we read about it …”

Y: “We get victory!”

Z: “And take uh Paul um, what’s his name … Paul loser

Y: “Paul Martin”

X: “Yeah.”

Y: “Nah I wish he had won, guy.”

Z; “What you … What you talkin’ about?”

Y: “Now it’s the other guy. …Harper.”

Yet for all these uncertainties and all their incompetence, these men are almost certainly screwed. Deciding to attend terrorist training camps with the apparent intent of killing quite a few people is a profoundly bad and stupid thing to do at the best of times. Now? These many are lucky that Canada doesn’t have the death penalty.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 29, 2008 at 2:50 pm

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