April 29, 2019 Update
As per the Minister of Public Safety’s statement on the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada, a review of the language used to describe extremism has been undertaken and is ongoing. The Government’s communication of threats must be clear, concise, and cannot be perceived as maligning any groups. As we continue this review, it is apparent that in outlining a threat, it must be clearly linked to an ideology rather than a community. The Government will carefully select terminology that focuses on the intent or ideology. As a first step, the Government has updated terminology used in the 2018 report to eliminate terminology that unintentionally impugns an entire religion. Going forward, the Government of Canada is committed to applying a bias-free approach to the terminology used to describe any threats inspired by ideology or groups.
You can’t make this up. The Feds have purged references to “Sunni” or “Shia” or Islam in general to avoid offending anyone. And let’s be clear, when Goodale talks about “impugning and entire religion”, he is talking about Islam. It’s not Buddhists or Pastafarians committing terrorism everywhere.
3. Table Of Contents
Part 1: The Current Terrorist Threat Environment
The Current Terrorist Threat to Canada
Canadian Extremist Travellers
The International Threat Environment
The Middle East and South/South-East Asia
Part 2: Threat Methods and Capabilities Observed Globally in 2018
Low-Sophistication Tactics, High Impacts
Threats to Transportation Infrastructure
Chemical and Biological Weapons
Terrorist Use of the Internet and Cyber Capabilities
Part 3: Canada’s Approach to Countering Terrorism
Managing Canadian Extremist Travellers
Arrests and Prosecutions in Canada for Committing Terrorism Offences
Bill C-59 – An Act Respecting National Security matters & Bill C-21 – An Act to Amend the Customs Act
Enhanced Passenger Protection Program
Immigration Security Screening
The Listing of Terrorist Entities
Countering Radicalization to Violence
Addressing Online Threats
Canada’s International Partnerships and Cooperation
4. Ministerial Foreword
I am pleased to provide the annual update on the threat to Canada from terrorism and violent extremism – part of our commitment to being open and transparent through a balanced and frank assessment of the current threat environment.
In many ways, this year’s threat update is similar to those of the recent past. The threat posed by those espousing violent interpretations of religious, ideological or political views persists, but has remained stable. The National Terrorism Threat Level – a broad indicator of the terrorist threat to Canada – remains at Medium, unchanged since 2014.
Canada is known internationally as a welcoming and peaceful nation. But we are also resolute in our determination to reject and combat violent extremism in all forms. Put simply, violence and threats of violence have no place in Canadian society. Stopping and eradicating this is a top priority of the Government.
Conflicts and the evolving global security environment continue to shape the nature of the terrorist threat to Canada. Those in Canada who are inspired by conflicts abroad may seek to carry out an attack here. Despite the ongoing erosion of Daesh, we have not seen an increase in the number of Canadian Extremist Travellers (CETs) attempting to return. Our top priority in managing CETs also remains the same – to bring them to justice using all resources at our disposal. Canadians expect their Government to keep them safe and to keep pace with evolving threats, tactics and global trends. Our security, intelligence, law enforcement, border and armed forces – to name a few – work around the clock in this regard. They consistently monitor all threats and review their approaches for how best to deal with them. This includes working closely with our friends and allies.
The global nature of terrorist and extremist threats necessitates close cooperation with international partners. Our partnerships are stronger than ever, including with NATO, the Five Eyes community, G7, the European Union, INTERPOL and others. We remain committed to being a collaborative force of good in the world and recognize that this can only be achieved by working together and leveraging our strengths.
Domestically, we also continue to build on our multi-layered approach to security. Bill C-59 (An Act Respecting National Security Matters) shaped by public views and concerns on how we as a country approach national security issues, is now closer to final Parliamentary approval and implementation. It brings with it an unprecedented era of transparency and openness and a clear signal of the importance that our departments and agencies have the most up to date mandates, tools and resources at their disposal.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there will be times when our collective security is challenged. There will be competing public views on what we as a nation should do. We will continue to take a measured but firm approach – a collaborative approach that unites our strengths – both as a government and as a nation.
A few points in this introduction:
(1) Goodale refers to “violent interpretation” of ideology or religion, while avoiding the elephant in the room: that religions — like Islam — are violent by nature.
(2) Goodale seems content to “bring to justice” terrorists who commit crimes abroad, but doesn’t seem too focused on preventing their re-entry in the first place.
(3) Goodale talks about a “force for good”, as if preventing terrorism were some sort of moralistic issue.
5. Quotes From Executive Summary
Canada’s terrorist threat environment remains stable. The principal terrorist threat to Canada continues to stem from individuals or groups who are inspired by violent ideologies and terrorist groups, such as Daesh or al-Qaida (AQ). Canada also remains concerned about threats posed by those who harbour right-wing extremist views. The April 2018 van attack in Toronto is a reminder that violent acts driven by extremists’ views are not exclusively-linked to any particular religious, political or cultural ideology. Furthermore, groups, such as Hizballah, and extremists who support violent means to establish an independent state within India also remain of concern because while their attacks in Canada have been extremely limited, some Canadians continue to support these extremist groups, including through financing. At the time of publication, Canada’s National Terrorism Threat Level remains at medium, as set in early October 2014 – meaning a violent act of terrorism could occur.
Though Daesh territorial holdings in the Syria-Iraq conflict zone continue to decline, Canada has not seen a related influx in the number of Canadian Extremist Travellers (CETs) who have returned to Canada, nor does it expect to. Owing to several factors (such as a lack of valid travel documents, denying boarding to aircraft destined for Canada, potential fear of arrest upon return, their continued commitment to Daesh or other groups, having been captured while in Syria and Iraq, or because they have died), CET numbers abroad remain stable at approximately 190 individuals with a nexus to Canada, and close to 60 who have returned.
In an effort to project strength and influence to counter its decreasing support and size, Daesh is resorting more frequently to false claims of responsibility for acts of violence, including in Canada. In June 2018, after Faisal Hussain fired on the busy Toronto neighbourhood of Danforth, Daesh quickly claimed responsibility, despite the total absence of any link between the attack and that group or any other terrorist group.
While globally, terrorist attacks have seen a decline, particularly in the West, ungoverned and permissive environments continue to allow terrorist groups to regroup or develop capabilities. Al-Qaida, Daesh and their affiliates continue to conduct attacks in the Middle East, South-East Asia, South Asia (Afghanistan) and North and West Africa. The Taliban continues to challenge the authority of the Afghanistan government through terrorist acts, while other groups, such as Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen (JNIM), Ansurul Islam, and al-Shabaab remain active in Africa.
6. Other Points To Address
Mentioning the April 2018 van attack seems like going out of the way to say that it’s not only Islam, that anyone can be a terrorist.
And denying the link between Faisal Hussain and Daesh seems an opportunity to make the claim that Islam is (wrongly) getting blamed for everything. But beyond that
All other mentions are Islamic
Hizballah is Islamic.
Daesh is Islamic.
Faisal Hussain is Islamic.
“Canadian Extremist Travellers” are Islamic.
Al Qaida is Islamic.
The Taliban is Islamic.
Jamaat Nurat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen is Islamic.
Ansurul Islam is Islamic.
al-Shabaab is Islamic.
These are all Muslims (except for 1 guy in a van in Toronto).
7. Exerps From Report
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to protest, as well as the rights of freedom of conscience and religion, expression, association and peaceful assembly. It is the evolution from hate to serious acts of politically-motivated violence with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, in regard to its sense of security, that could be considered a terrorism offence
This should be common sense. However, in context it seems designed to deliberately not draw any link between Islam and terrorism.
Although the majority of recent global terrorist attacks can be attributed to individuals inspired by terrorist groups such as Daesh and AQ, other recent events around the world are bringing attention to the threat of violence from individuals who harbour right-wing extremist views.
Right-wing extremism (RWE) is traditionally driven by hatred and fear, and includes a range of individuals, groups, often in online communities, that back a wide range of issues and grievances, including, but not limited to: anti-government and anti-law enforcement sentiment, advocacy of white nationalism and racial separation, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, anti-immigration, male supremacy (misogyny) and homophobia. The threat of violence from any individuals, including those holding extreme right-wing views, may manifest in terrorist activity or other forms of criminal violence. However, while racism, bigotry, and misogyny may undermine the fabric of Canadian society, ultimately they do not usually result in criminal behavior or threats to national security.
In Canada, individuals who hold extreme right-wing views are active online, leveraging chat forums and online networks to exchange ideas, as opposed to openly promoting violence. These individuals leverage online chats and forums in attempt to create an online culture of fear, hatred and mistrust by exploiting real or imagined concerns.
Traditionally, in Canada, violence linked to the far-right has been sporadic and opportunistic. However, attacks perpetrated by individuals who hold extreme right-wing views and other lesser-known forms of ideological extremism can occur. A recent example is the April 2018 van attack in Toronto, Ontario, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people and alerted Canada to the dangers of the online Incel movement. It may be difficult to assess, in the short term, to what extent a specific act was ideologically-driven, or comment while investigations are ongoing or cases are before the court.
Interesting. The report (correctly) states the vast majority of terrorism is related to ideologies such as Daesh and Al-Qaida. It then goes on to blame “right wing extremists”. However, the only example cited here (or in the executive summary was the van attack in April 2018.
That one event seems to be as bad as all the Islamic terrorism elsewhere.
Right-wing extremism is not unique to Canada. In fact, some European RWE groups have established chapters in Canada. Likewise, some Canadian RWE groups have far-right connections in Europe.
This disingenuously conflates unrelated groups. This lumps in: those sick of mass migration and illegal immigration; those sick of globalism; and those sick of forced multiculturalism, with actual terrorist organizations.
Furthermore, some individuals in Canada continue to support violent means to establish an independent state within India. These violent activities have fallen since their height during the 1982-1993 period when individuals and groups conducted numerous terrorist attacks. The 1985 Air India bombing, which killed 331 people, remains the deadliest terrorist plot ever launched in Canada. While attacks around the world in support of this movement have declined, support for the extreme ideologies of such groups remains. For example, in Canada, two organizations, Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation, have been identified as being associated with terrorism and remain listed terrorist entities under the Criminal Code
Credit where credit is due. At least Sikh terrorism is being called out as well.
8. Canadian Extremist Travellers
The first objective in dealing with returning extremist travellers is to investigate and mitigate the threat they may pose to Canada and to Canadians and to ensure public safety. If there is sufficient evidence, the Government of Canada will pursue charges, and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Criminal prosecution is the top priority and the preferred course of action. If there is insufficient evidence for a charge, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and its law enforcement, security and intelligence partners will continue their investigation, while other tools are leveraged to manage and contain the threat. These tools include: using a terrorism peace bond to seek to have the court place conditions on the individual (including electronic monitoring); active physical surveillance; using the Secure Air Travel Act to prevent further travel; additional border screening; and/or cancelling, refusing or revoking passports. In certain circumstances, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) may also employ threat reduction measures to reduce the threat posed by a returnee.
Canada’s law enforcement, security and intelligence, and defence departments and agencies continue to monitor and respond to the threat of Canadian extremist travellers through a coordinated, whole-of-government approach. When the Government learns that a CET may be seeking to return, federal departments and agencies come together to tailor an approach to address the threat he/she may pose. Key departments and agencies, including Public Safety Canada, Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the RCMP, CSIS, the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Transport Canada (TC) and the Privy Council Office (PCO) work together to assess risks, develop options and manage the return of CETs. The whole-of-government approach enables the collective identification of measures needed to deal with the threat.
(1) The safety of the Canadian public seems to be taking a backseat.
(2) Safety measures? How about not letting them back into the country in the first place?
(3) Among those measures: why is “INCARCERATION” not listed?
(4) Prosecution is the preferred method? No, we don’t want them back here, period.
9. Bill C-59 And Young Offenders
A particularly troubling section of Bill C-59, new protections for “Young Offenders”. Is the Government expecting youth to commit or be involved in terrorism? What about adults “identifying” as youth?
Youth Criminal Justice Act
159 Subsection 14(2) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is replaced by the following:
(2) A youth justice court has exclusive jurisdiction to make orders against a young person under sections 83.3 (recognizance — terrorist activity), 810 (recognizance —fear of injury or damage), 810.01 (recognizance — fear of certain offences), 810.011 (recognizance — fear of terrorism offence), 810.02 (recognizance — fear of forced marriage or marriage under age of 16 years) and 810.2 (recognizance — fear of serious personal injury offence) of the Criminal Code and the provisions of this Act apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require. If the young person fails or refuses to enter into a recognizance referred to in any of those sections, the court may impose any one of the sanctions set out in subsection 42(2) (youth sentences) except that, in the case of an order under paragraph 42(2)(n) (custody and supervision order), it shall not exceed 30 days.
160 Subsection 20(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Orders under section 810 of Criminal Code
(2) Despite subsection 14(2), a justice has jurisdiction to make an order under section 810 (recognizance — fear of injury or damage) of the Criminal Code in respect of a young person. If the young person fails or refuses to enter into a recognizance referred to in that section, the justice shall refer the matter to a youth justice court.
161 (1) Paragraph 25(3)(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(a) at a hearing at which it will be determined whether to release the young person or detain the young person in custody,
(a.1) at a hearing held in relation to an order referred to in subsection 14(2) or 20(2),
(2) The portion of subsection 25(6) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Release hearing before justice
(6) When a young person, at a hearing referred to in paragraph (3)(a) or (a.1) that is held before a justice who is not a youth justice court judge, wishes to obtain counsel but is unable to do so, the justice shall
162 The heading before section 28 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Detention and Release
163 Subsection 29(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Detention as social measure prohibited
29 (1) A youth justice court judge or a justice shall not detain a young person in custody as a substitute for appropriate child protection, mental health or other social measures.
164 Subsection 30(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Designated place of temporary detention
30 (1) Subject to subsection (7), a young person who is detained in custody in relation to any proceedings against the young person shall be detained in a safe, fair and humane manner in any place of temporary detention that may be designated by the lieutenant governor in council of the province or his or her delegate or in a place within a class of places so designated.
165 The heading before section 33 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Application for Release from or Detention in Custody
166 (1) Paragraph 67(1)(c) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(c) the young person is charged with first or second degree murder within the meaning of section 231 of the Criminal Code; or
(2) Paragraph 67(3)(c) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(c) the young person is charged with first or second degree murder within the meaning of section 231 of the Criminal Code; or
167 (1) Subsection 119(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (p):
(p.1) an employee of a department or agency of the Government of Canada, for the purpose of administering the Canadian Passport Order;
(2) Subsection 119(2) of the Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (d):
(d.1) if an order referred to in subsection 14(2) or 20(2) is made against a young person, the period ending six months after the expiry of the order;
10. last Comments
Despite the overwhelming majority of terrorism being committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam, the Canadian Government tries to downplay that. Actual group names like “Sunni” and “Shia” are stripped from the report, so to not offend anyone.
This gesture of political correctness supposedly is to “not vilify” entire groups. However, it overlooks the elephant in the room, that Islam is directly responsible for most of the terrorism in today’s world. This does no one any good, trying to shade the truth in order to hide the root cause of the majority of terrorism.
It is also clear the Government puts more of a focus on protecting the rights and freedoms of terrorists returning from abroad that it does in protecting Canadians. This must stop.