Saturday, June 03, 2006

Toronto terrorism threat (UPDATE 2)

How CSIS tracked down the suspects

From the 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.

Read on. It's fascinating (and terrifying) stuff. Apparently those arrested even had "a list of targets" that included the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and CSIS's Toronto headquarters.

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