Bombshell: National Post links Canadian plot to six other countries (Update: Attacks were imminent?)

posted at 8:59 pm on June 3, 2006 by Allahpundit

The National Post also broke the phony Iranian yellow-badges story, of course. If this one blows up in their face, they’re completely finished as a credible news source.

But for the moment, they’ve got the benefit of the doubt:

A Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries, the National Post has learned.

Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden, and Bangladesh.

The six-month RCMP investigation, called Project OSage, is one of several overlapping probes that include an FBI case called Operation Northern Exposure and a British probe known as Operation Mazhar.

In the last post, I scoffed at the idea that today’s arrests might be linked to the arrests yesterday in London. Consider this me eating crow.

Assuming it turns out to be true.

Update: Dan Riehl follows the ammonium nitrate.

Update: The Canadian Press talks to the neighbors:

Attique operated an Islamic bookstore from the home, but neighbours drew up a petition last year calling for the business to be shut down because it was being operated in a residential neighbourhood…

Grenier said residents of the home kept to themselves, but he noticed unusual activity in the early morning hours.

“You never see them during the day, always deliveries late at night, early in the morning,” said Grenier, a Toronto Transit Commission employee. “I get home at about 2:30, 3 o’clock (in the morning) and you always see people coming in and out, but you just assume it’s books coming out.”

And here’s another neighbor, perhaps providing a clue as to why the RCMP felt they had to act now:

Tony Sbrocchi, 38, a neighbourhood resident for 10 years said he saw individuals backing a U-Haul into the driveway of the residence and loading up the vehicle on Monday, and that a group of three unfamiliar males left the next morning.

“It was very suspicious,” Sbrocchi said, adding that he was unsure of what was being loading into the truck.

Update: Almost certainly unrelated to the events in Canada, but worth noting: an FBI search of a home in Tennessee yesterday revealed three pipe bombs — and a jar of ricin.

Update: Whatever the opposite of a bombshell is, this is it. Needless to say, it’s par for the course.

Update: Late-evening news from the Toronto Star: the RCMP says it had to “move quickly” to make the arrests before the group launched their attack.

Update: Have some of these suspects been in Canadian custody before? Kate from Small Dead Animals says maybe.

Update: The L.A. Times fleshes out the National Post story:

Several U.S. counterterrorism officials said they have ongoing investigations that have involved close cooperation among authorities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and at least several other countries since last September

Authorities have not yet found any connection between the suspects in Canada and Atlanta and several men arrested earlier in the week in the United Kingdom on terrorism charges, the law enforcement official said…

Authorities have, however, have found [sic] connections between the suspects in Canada and Atlanta and other suspected terror operatives abroad, including a group of men arrested in London last fall that includes an infamous computer specialist known as Irhabi007, the law enforcement official said. Irhabi means terrorist in Arabic.

Some of those discussions focused specifically on attacking targets in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., areas, the law enforcement official said. “The discussions were wide-ranging, about a whole range of targets,” he said.

None of the plots were imminent, authorities said.

U.S. prosecutors recently told a federal judge they have evidence that Sadequee and Ahmed (the two men from Atlanta who rendezvoused with the Canadian jihadis in March) videotaped the U.S. Capitol and the World Bank, among other locations in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, the New York Times says it’s unclear whether the Canadian suspects already had the ammonium nitrate in their possession or whether it was being delivered this week. If the latter, it would certainly explain why the RCMP thought they had to move in.

Counterterrorism officials said that interviews with suspects would provide greater clarity about the nature of the plot, but they said that the men had taken a significant step, moving beyond the planning stage, toward acquiring a large quantity of potentially explosive fertilizer.

It was not clear whether the group ever had possession of the chemicals, or whether authorities may have had a role in arranging for the shipment or transporting the material.

A police spokeswoman, Cpl. Michele Paradis, asked whether the group had actually had the three tons of chemicals in their possession, and if the police had “seized” it, replied: “That’s difficult to answer. They made arrangements to have it delivered and they took delivery.”

The Times notes that there’s no evidence to think the suspects were looking southward, but it does say that American counterterrorism officials have had “extensive contact” with their Canadian counterparts over the last several days.

Update: Dan Riehl googles “Operation Mazhar” and comes up with a winner:

The recent discovery of a transnational terrorist network anchored in Sarajevo—and with branches in Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom—is further evidence of the extent to which the jihad in Bosnia still influences Western European mujahideen networks. Last fall, Bosnian authorities announced a series of arrests in connection with a security sweep known as Operation Mazhar. The men taken into custody had purchased explosives and allegedly planned to carry out suicide attacks against Western targets across Europe. The leader of the cell, Swedish national Mirsad Bektasevic (a.k.a. “Maximus”) was initially based in Sweden and then traveled on to Bosnia “to plan an attack aimed at forcing Bosnia or another government to withdraw forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.”…

Mobile phone records also showed that Bektasevic was communicating with other known extremists based in Denmark and the United Kingdom. He was also believed to be running a recruitment operation sending young European jihadi recruits on to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Moreover, at least one of the suspects arrested in Bosnia-Herzegovina in connection with the Bektasevic network was the former accountant of a financial front company run by veterans of the El-Mudzahedin Unit in Sarajevo and Zenica.

Dan’s post has more background, including a quote from a top British official calling this the first “virtual [terror] network.”


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Does Bosnia jump off the page at anyone else? Just askin’.

Beto Ochoa on June 3, 2006 at 9:14 PM

Yeah. Must be those evil Serbs.

Perchant on June 3, 2006 at 9:29 PM

I’m betting it was planned for the 11th. People have been saying 6-6-06, but that doesn’t make sense to me. Why would they attack on a date derived from the number of the Christian antichrist, implicitly validating Christian revelation? 9/11, 3/11, 7/11—I think they were keeping with that theme.

In which case the Pickering plant seems a more likely target than a government agency with no one working there, since 6/11 is a Sunday. You can blow up a nuclear plant any day.

see-dubya on June 3, 2006 at 10:54 PM

When will the world realize these radical muslims will kill anyone , anywhere, any time. Even their own ‘people’ if necessary. The problem is, the world probably wont get it. The great efforts and intelligence by the Canadians prevented a huge, massive explosion from killing unknown numbers of people, and therefore….its almost a non-event. Many more will have to die, sadly, before it gets real.
We need to profile now and as often as needed to keep us safe.We need to allow our intelligence latitude when needed.
.
Who else noticed what dear ole DAD does for work?
.. has a “father who is now an engineer on contract with Atomic Energy of Canada, the lawyer said.”
Mushroom clouds from Iran and Canadian muslims? Too close.
But whatever we do, dont single anybody out ’cause of their looks….or their name. Piss be upon them.

shooter on June 3, 2006 at 10:56 PM

I’ll second Perchant (the second comment).

I’m thanking God that they were caught.

Anyone else wondering why they are targeting the Canadians? Do they have a headscarf ban in their schools or somethin’?

Lady Heather on June 3, 2006 at 11:07 PM

Oh goodness, but we certainly must not refer to these folks as “islamic”.

From the looks of the list of suspects, once again Steyn’s Rule has proven true: anytime there’s terrorism in the world you’ll find someone named Mohammed.

Mr. Bingley on June 3, 2006 at 11:12 PM

Ahhh, Jihad.

That noble, peaceful inner struggle that humble muslim men engage in to purify their souls.

Christianity is all about the blood of Christ shed for us.

Islam is about the blood of everyone else shed for “Allah”

What a stark contrast.

speed647 on June 4, 2006 at 12:23 AM

Occam’s razor-”If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments where one suffices”
We should be profiling and watching any mosques and it’s inhabitants. Islam has never been a “religion of peace” nor is it even truly a religion but rather a cult. Hopefully the MSM will talk more about how this cell was caught (the internet tapping) and how it relates to the NSA program that has the moonbats baying louder then a pack of hyenas.

Creed on June 4, 2006 at 12:49 AM

What gets into these people? What do they want? World domination? For Pete’s sake, they can’t even get rid of a tiny strip of a nation, Israel. The only thing they’re gonna accomplish is pissing off the world’s 5 billion non-Muslims. Sheesh.

gmoonster on June 4, 2006 at 3:08 AM

see-dubya, the London train attack was on 7/7. Either you forgot the date or that was one very clever (and very un-P.C.) bit of comedy! 7/11. Ha! Good one.

Tony737 on June 4, 2006 at 7:23 AM

Most, if not all, people on the Left-Liberal-Socialist side of life and some on the Right are still comfy and cozy with the Muslims and Islam as long as they are not affected, as long as they can go home, from their secure well-paid or not job, watching Cable, premium channels, porn, use drugs for fun, enjoy pleasures their surrounded world has to offer, or simply taking life for granted. As long as they can do all that and more, as long as their comfort zone is untouchable, nothing else matters, screw America, screw the World.

But the moment Islamic terrorism touches their commodities, their personal life, they will turn probably against it for a moment, then forget about it and go back to their comfort zone.

Call it selfishness, taking life for granted, nonchalance, whatever.

Let me give you a hypothesis:

Suppose the New York Times building is bombed by Islamic terrorists. Suppose the same happens to CNN, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood, or even the local Democratic Party headquarter in your town.

What will be the reaction of the Left-Liberals?

Well, my guess is they will suddenly wake up, having being slapped on the face, and realize that the WEST -and especially AMERICA- IS AT WAR AGAINST ISLAMIC TERRORISM!!!

TADAAAA!!

Perhaps not. Maybe I’m too optimistic, maybe I put too much hope on the Liberals. Most probably, they will realize that Islamic terrorists declared war on the Liberals!!

No, September 11, 2001 didn’t exist for the Left. The attack on the Cole was an illusion. The bombings of the World Trade Center in the 90′s and the Embassies in Africa were the work of Miss Cleo!!

Nothing was a wake up call. These were all a big conspiracy theory!!

If you hate America, vote Liberal-Democrat.

CatholicConservative on June 4, 2006 at 7:29 AM

Note today’s New York Times, which, in coverage of the arrests in Canada, refers to the Muslims as

SOUTH ASIAN

Yes. “Of South Asian descent”. I kid you not.

You didn’t know Mohammed was a South Asian did you? This is a new low in reporting subterfuge.

clyde on June 4, 2006 at 7:49 AM

Today’s Chicago Tribune carries on the politically correct stupidity by NEVER using the word “Muslim” in their reporting of the story either.

Just “Canadian citizens or immigrants to Canada”. I know a lot of Canadians named “Mohammed”, don’t you, eh?

clyde on June 4, 2006 at 7:54 AM

gmoonster

Do some more research of the comments made by Islam proponents.

Their goal is convert us all to Islam, “The Religion of Peace”

People need to wake up in America. We are in a Religious War despite the Administration telling us about how peaceful Islam is. The Dictator of Iran has said numerous times they intend to destroy the great Satan. CAIR has said they will not be happy until America is an Islam Nation.

ScottyDog on June 4, 2006 at 9:37 AM

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell’s statement that the accused represent “the broad strata of our community.” is pure RCMP political correctness bull. The Force has become increasingly infected with PC disease in recent years. Everything, including their recruitment policies has been affected. For many Canadians, the force has become a laughingstock.

McDonell needs to come out and identify the suspects for what they are — Muslim extremist, and terrorists. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone in the Force has the courage to do this.

This just gives new currency to the old joke about the RCMP: “Did you hear about the Mountie who tied his whistle to a post and b____ his horse?”

frothmouth on June 4, 2006 at 9:43 AM

Anyone wanting to see what Muslims teach their children in Islamic madrasa schools, go to http://www.quantara.de and check it out. It’s the official Pakistani School System web site (what there is of it) and explains everything in horrifying detail.

clyde on June 4, 2006 at 10:31 AM

For what it’s worth, I just checked back, and the Pakistanis have removed the pages “explaining” and clarifying their education from http://www.quantara.de. The main Muslim site is http://www.ashrafia.org.pk which is the site of the largest Muslim Islamic school in Pakistan. This is not only a religious school, it’s the school that offered a $25,000 cash reward for anyone that would kill the Danish artist that drew the “insulting cartoons of Mohammed”. Read it and you’ll never wonder what they are teaching or why their “informed” students are crazy.

clyde on June 4, 2006 at 10:43 AM

You guys are gonna feel pretty dumb when it turns out they needed that fertilizer to grow daisies to give out to all their non-Muslim friends. OPEN YOUR MINDS, FASCISTS!!!

Jim Treacher on June 4, 2006 at 12:18 PM

Well, you know it’s –

Springtime for Islam and Shari’a,
Jihad is well on its way.
Blowing up infidels we hate,
Look out, here comes the Caliphate…..

There’s more, but you get the idea.

Compassionate Crank on June 4, 2006 at 12:34 PM

And because coordinated attacks in multiple locations are
just too horrible to contemplate, many people will refuse to do just that.
Sadly, I agree with shooter- many more will have to die to get people’s attention. There are just too many fat,dumb & happy people out there.

Abigail Adams on June 4, 2006 at 1:08 PM

Just on the “strata of society” comment by frothmouth, if “stata” is defined as “level” (which it actually is) then these guys are, in fact, from different strata of society. Some are adults, some are young offenders; some are employed, others are unemployed, some are professionals, some are not, some are citizens and some are not.

The RCMP comment on strata of society is not political correctness, but is simply an accurate statement of the situation that verifies what is truly frightening about this situation. The terrorists, whether homegrown or imported, do not necessarily come from poor, disenfranchised or marginalized sectors of society. Rather they come from all sectors..rich and poor…and they come together. They find their commonality not in their citizenship, or new nationality, but in their islamist views.

The RCMP comment is not a sop to the politically correct, but a warning to us all.

By the way…a guy called henning made a ridiculous comment on the previous string regarding his Canadian friends saying the US deserved 9/11. Unless he was hanging out with Trotskyites, or the Poli Sci faculty of the U of T, his comment is garbage and I hope noone reading this site believes it. After 9/11 Canadians coast to coast were onside with the US…I can’t tell you how many blood donor clinics I saw, or how many times I had my car washed by policemen, firemen, boy scouts, girl guides, veterinarians and even “dancers”, to raise money for the victims. I could make a comment about henning’s bona fides but I want to just leave it at that. Don’t allow the subsequent disagreement about Iraq to allow you to be misled about how Canadians (we) reacted to 9/11

Blaise on June 4, 2006 at 1:20 PM

Lady Heather “Anyone else wondering why they are targeting the Canadians?”

In two words, ‘Soft Target.’

When one ignores them one becomes a target of opportunity.

Mike H. on June 4, 2006 at 1:30 PM

South Asia, according to Google, is India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka and the ever popular PAKISTAN.

Southeast Asia is all the familiar suspects: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and East Timor.

On the OTHER HAND, the Middle East is Afganistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. Pakistan makes it on two maps. Lucky them. Lucky us. Lucky Canada. IF these guys were all Pakistanis, and they weren’t.

clyde on June 4, 2006 at 1:44 PM

…and the local Immam- Aly Hindy from a Toronto mosque, believed they were not involved in terrorism-related activities. (they probably used his mosque IMO)
.
Aly -Hinderance- Hindy said “But the problem is these days when a Muslim commits fraud, it becomes terrorism. When he commits stealing it becomes terrorism,” WHAT A FRICKIN’ BUNCH OF B.S.
.
Denver news, the BIg 3 MSM’s (4,7,9) would have you believe it was nothing, just some ‘Canadians’ with fertilizer. Only ONE station briefly mentioned, almost as a side, Al Queda. All of them waited 7-10 minutes into the news to mention these arrests in Canada. No names, no real hint of muslims, nothin’.
Other than Tom Tancredo, I’m a little worried about Colorado these days.

shooter on June 4, 2006 at 2:00 PM

Y’all, if the NYT (et al) offices were bombed by Muslim terrorists, you KNOW they’d be begging the world’s Muslims for forgiveness.

And trying desperately, grasping at straws, to blame Bush and the West in general for offending this otherwise “peaceful” religion.

Deep down, you know I’m right. LOL.

Lady Heather on June 4, 2006 at 2:32 PM

“Anyone else wondering why they are targeting the Canadians? Do they have a headscarf ban in their schools or somethin’?”

Lady Heather on June 3, 2006 at 11:07 PM

Mike H. and Lady Heather,

In Canada the police had to give in and allow Muslims and others to wear turbans and other headcovers instead of the traditional uniform.

There is no headscarf ban. Canada is also not a ‘soft target’.

It’s the alliance with NATO and its presence in Afghanistan and the mere fact that it is a Western country.

Entelechy on June 4, 2006 at 4:37 PM

One more reason why Canada and why now? It dumped the Paul Martin ‘nuanced’ government.

Entelechy on June 4, 2006 at 4:38 PM

What’s going to be really interesting, is finding out how these turkeys acquired the ammonium nitrate.

17 guys with bad hair, untrimmed beards, and carrying Korans come into your farm supply store and want to buy 3 tons of ammonium nitrate. Do you sell it to them? Are you nuts, or just plain stupid?

frothmouth on June 4, 2006 at 6:24 PM

Entelechy on June 4, 2006 at 4:37 PM wrote:

“In Canada the police had to give in and allow Muslims and others to wear turbans and other headcovers instead of the traditional uniform.”

Wrong. Not muslims, but sikhs, a religious sect originating in India. Canada has a rather large sikh population. Part of the mosaic, and all that…

THeDRiFTeR on June 4, 2006 at 6:57 PM

So, it now appears that the RCMP supplied the ammonium nitrate as part of a sting operation. I certainly hadn’t considered that.

In any event, it is marvellous news, and shows that the anti-terrorism squad is doing a great job dealing with that “broad strata” of society

frothmouth on June 4, 2006 at 8:49 PM

It is so unbelievable to me. It is so politically correct.

My local TV station, the FOX affiliate, by the way, mentioned what happened in Canada for just 2 minutes, without saying anything about the religion, the race, the look, the description of the act, NOTHING about who these individuals are.. For this FOX affiliate, the Canadians arrested [b]17 young people suspected of possessing explosive materials[/b] And went on to say that they “may” have some connection with Georgia!! THAT’S ALL!!!

The FOX affiliate didn’t say the following:

The 17 “young people” were Muslims and Terrorists.

The words “Terrorists” and “Muslims” were never mentioned.

The whole 2 minutes were like watching some neutral, boring piece of news broadcast from the FOX affiliate on planet MARS!!

America will not be hit again only by Islamic terrorism but because of and by POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

CatholicConservative on June 4, 2006 at 9:09 PM

Tony 737, you’re right, of course. And I pick this well-read and multiply linked post to make a doofus of myself. For the record I was just being an idiot, not making a racist 7-11 joke.

see-dubya on June 4, 2006 at 11:35 PM

THeDRiFTeR, thank you for the exact clarification. “Other” can also mean Sikh. However, you encouraged me to do more homework on the topic.

1990, March 15, the solicitor General of Canada announced that the RCMP dress code would be amended to have a turbaned Sikh join the force.
Constable Baltej Singh Dhillon had the honour of becoming the first baptized Sikh to join the RCMP.

The ACLU would be in super-drive for the singling out of Sikhs.

Anyway, the greater point is that in Canada even the police uniform was altered in the name of PC. This was tried in the early 2000s and failed at the NYPD. Best regards and thanks again.

Entelechy on June 5, 2006 at 5:33 PM

Islam=evil
Muslim=evil
What is it that is so hard to figure out? Muslims hate anyone who is not Muslim. Religion of peace? What a joke.

We must get back to profile those who would do evil to anyone who doesn’t agree with their philosophy. Period…

bjb on June 5, 2006 at 6:17 PM

Entelechy

No probs. I remember the debate well. At the time, I was a researcher at the Library of Parliament. I had submitted a piece for publication in the Ottawa Citizen, the local paper (editorial), something I had to do as a civil servant, and was told that my stand against relaxing the uniform code could cost me my career. Apparently, it could have been construed as racist.

THeDRiFTeR on June 5, 2006 at 6:21 PM