Calgary, hotbed of Jihadism?

The Calgary RCMP INSET has charged a man with joining ISIS and participating in acts of terrorism on behalf of the group in Syria.

I am guessing that gaining a reputation as a nexus of Islamist terrorism is not a good thing.

Calgary is a great city and one that I have had the pleasure of visiting many, many times (Grey Cup 2009 was a particularly memorable event as Montreal defeated Saskatchewan on the last play of the game). It is truly a vibrant Albertan town.

Most would say that Calgary is known as the province’s economic engine and seat of the oil industry. The downtown core is studded with huge towers owned by this or that energy firm. And then there is always the Edmonton-Calgary rivalry (Edmonton is Alberta’s capital).

Alas, Calgary also has a reputation it probably wants to set aside. It happens to be a hub of Canadian jihadis who went to join Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist groups in the Middle East. It was not the only part of the country to spawn wankers who thought this was a good idea, but there did seem to be an inordinate number who made this very bad choice (they chose…poorly)

As did several Calgarians

Here is a partial list:

The aforementioned are all dead. Not this guy: Hussein Sobhe Borhot. He has just been charged by the RCMP with  three counts of participating in the activity of a terrorist group and one count of committing an offence on behalf of a terrorist group following a SEVEN-year investigation. He was in Syria between May, 2013, and June, 2014, where he enlisted with the Islamic State group and received training. He is also alleged to have participated in a kidnapping, though there are no further details.

Mr. Borhot is in custody and will appear in court in Calgary on Friday (July 24). It will be interesting to see how the case against him goes. It goes without saying that collecting evidence to stand in a Canadian court for a guy who fought for ISIS in Syria can’t be easy. Did the INSET (RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Team) have a human source? Warranted intercepts? Intelligence from a partner agency? Time will tell.

The Calgary RCMP INSET has charged a man with joining ISIS and participating in acts of terrorism on behalf of the group in Syria.

I for one hope that he gets nailed for this crime and does not get off as those two Montreal teens did a few years ago. We need terrorism convictions in Canada, not acquittals. Terrorism is thankfully a rare ill here but a few successful prosecutions will start to set useful precedents.

Anyone who joined ISIS or other Islamist terrorist groups deserves to have the book thrown at them and to be locked up with the key chucked. This bunch was subhuman in its cruelty to a number of innocent people (Yazidis, Shia Muslims, LGBT, women, the list goes on and on). Leniency (rehab, ‘deradicalisation, etc.) should be set aside until these creeps have had a long time to think about their decisions.

The victims deserve nothing less.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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