Saturday, June 03, 2006

Toronto terrorism threat (UPDATE)

According to Reuters, "[s]ome members of a group of Canadians arrested on terror-related offenses may have been in contact with two U.S. suspects now in custody who were based in Georgia".


The CBC quotes Luc Portelance, CSIS Assistant Director of Operations: "For various reasons, they appear to have become adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaeda."

However, says the CBC, "officials stressed there's no direct link between those charged and the militant group".


From the Canadian Press: "Three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a commonly used fertilizer used to make explosives, were recovered by police, who say that's three times the amount used in the bombing of a government building in Oklahoma that killed 168 people."


Prime Minister Harper's statement in response to the arrests (via the Globe):

This morning, Canadians awoke to the news that our law enforcement and national security agencies have arrested 17 individuals for terrorism related offences.

These individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism against their own country and their own people.

As we have said on many occasions, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Through the work and co-operation of the RCMP, CSIS, local law enforcement and Toronto's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), acts of violence by extremist groups may have been prevented.

Today, Canada's security and intelligence measures worked. Canada's new government will pursue its efforts to ensure the national security of all Canadians.


The accused are being held in Brampton and Pickering, two Toronto-area suburbs. The Toronto Star has the story here.

The police station in Pickering has been turned into "an armed fortress" guarded by "heavily armed officers". I spoke with two people who drove by the station a short while ago (4 pm ET), and they confirm this.

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