Terrorists in Canada?

by James Glaser
June 5, 2006

This weekend 17 people were arrested in Toronto, Canada. They were suspected of getting ready to bomb something with the three tons of ammonium nitrate police confiscated. That's about twice as much potential explosives as Timothy McVeigh used in bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Michele Paradis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that most of the suspects were Canadian citizens, and all were residents. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said the suspects were "adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al Qaeda."

Many Americans wonder why residents of Canada would think about terrorizing their own country. Canada seems like everyone's friend, and many remember that Canada refused to have any part of our attack on Iraq.

What is overlooked is the fact that Canada has combat troops in Afghanistan, and it is in Afghanistan that al Qaeda is strongest. Yes, there are al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq fighting our troops, but Osama bin Laden and the leaders of al Qaeda are reported to still be in Afghanistan or right across the border in Pakistan.

Somehow we in America and the people in Canada think that we can attack and occupy any place we want without worrying about our homeland, but 9/11 showed us that is no longer true. Groups like al Qaeda have a long reach, and they have financial backing. People living in Canada or the United States who have loved ones in a country we attack and occupy can get very upset, and like it or not, some Muslims in North America are willing to become part of a 5th column.

Every year our globe gets smaller, and we can no longer think that oceans will protect us. Before we do anything overseas, we should take the time to figure out the consequences. Canada was on the ball, and broke up this terrorist ring before they could get an attack together, but this should warn that country and ours that not every resident holds an allegiance to the country they are living in.

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