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Perspectives

Nut at all a bad outcome

A Vancouver jury found John Nuttall and Amanda Korody guilty of terrorism yesterday after three days of deliberation (see Globe story here). This is good news from several perspectives a) it shows that terrorism cases can successfully be prosecuted through the court system b) our security and law enforcement agencies (CSIS was the first to […]

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Perspectives

Not a Sunni proposition

I have already talked a bit about the Sunni-Shia split in an earlier piece (Brothers at Arms).  Today’s thoughts are along a different pathway. When I worked in the intelligence world and looked at violent radicalization, the focus was entirely on Sunnis, not Shia.  Of course, there were other kinds of violence to worry about […]

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Perspectives

No way to run a railroad

The Canadian government has been in the counter terrorism (or countering violent extremism – CVE – as it is now known) for a long time.  In addition to the hard response (CSIS, RCMP…) there is the softer approach.  The latter involves engaging with Canadians and communities to talk about difficult issues like terrorism and radicalization. […]

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National Security Perspectives

And justice for all

What should Canadians make of Adil Charkaoui?  I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of him.

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Perspectives

Damned if we do

I read an irritating op-ed piece in Al Jazeera the other day.  The author, Antonia Zerbiasis, claims that the Canadian government is now verging on totalitarianism for arresting people for “thinking of doing things” (see article here).  The piece was written in response to the arrest of 10 young Montrealers suspected of seeking to join […]

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Perspectives

Harper’s Hyper Bowl

Our prime minister is quoted as saying that “jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced” (see article here). Really? Bigger than the threat of MAD during the Cold War? Bigger than the Nazi onslaught of the 1930s and 1940s? More dangerous than climate change or run-of-the-mill violence?  (homework […]

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Perspectives

Passport to freedom?

In the aftermath of the arrests of 10 Quebecers at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport last weekend, the government has confiscated the passports of what it calls terrorism suspects (see story here).  Without passports, the aspiring youth cannot leave Canada (unless of course they procure false documentation). So, is this the best way to deal with […]

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Perspectives

Brothers at arms

According to Al Jazeera, the Islamic State recently claimed in an online statement that it carried out a deadly suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province of Qatif (see story here).  The eastern part of Saudi Arabia is largely Shia and tensions between the Sunni monarchy and its Shia residents have been […]

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Perspectives

risky business

One of the more futile pursuits in the field of terrorism studies is that of trying to determine why some people radicalize to violence and others don’t.  There have been many cases where some individuals in a given group (social, family, religious, etc.) go down the path to violence while others stay away.  We are […]

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Perspectives

Counterpoint

The CBC reported that the RCMP in Quebec arrested 10 young people last weekend on suspicion that the youth were seeking to leave the country to join ISIS (see here).  These arrests are but the latest example of Canadians trying to hook up with the terrorist group.  The reasons for the surge are varied and […]