Terror raid in Canada rolls up 17 jihadis

The one day this week I sleep in…

If you’re as late to the story as I am, get caught up with Michelle, then Pajamas Media, then the Counterterrorism Blog, which notes that jihadis have been recruiting homegrown Muslims precisely because they’re harder to detect. Judeoscope has the names of the twelve adult suspects; the other five are under 18. Kids are harder to detect too, no?

The cops recovered three tonnes of ammonium nitrate. McVeigh gutted the Murrah building with one tonne.

Meanwhile, Dave from Garfield Ridge wonders what this does to Iqbal Sacranie’s theory.

More details as I find them.

Update: The Toronto Star says the suspects trained at a camp north of Toronto.

A terror training camp. North of Toronto.

Update: More details from the Star:

Most were Canadian citizens or residents. Police described them as coming from a broad “strata” of society. Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed. The adults range in age from 19 to 43.

The same Star article says there’s no word yet on possible targets, but they have ruled out the TTC (the Toronto Transit Commissions). Which makes sense. You don’t need three tonnes of explosives to take out a subway car.

So where were they headed? The cops seem to have an idea, but they’re not saying. Captain Ed floats a few theories, the most notable of which is this: “They appeared to have particular interest in the CSIS due to media reports of racial and religious profiling.” CSIS is the Canadian equivalent, roughly, of NSA.

Update: As usual, contrary to socialist dogma, the suspects weren’t poor and uneducated. Says the Star, “One was a math and chemistry whiz from Scarborough who grew up to become a 22-year-old husband and father.”

The same article in the Star provides the list of targets, according to CSIS sources:

[T]he Toronto headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was one of them. So were the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and a smattering of other high-profile, heavily populated areas…

According to sources, the suspects allegedly planned to target the spy service because many of them had encountered agents early in the investigation, when they were interviewed and put under surveillance. They also were allegedly angered by media reports accusing CSIS of racial profiling of Muslims…

Some of the group’s members had even been spotted taking notes around the building, and at least one had reportedly visited the basement, one source told the Star.

Read the whole article. It’s the most detailed news account available right now. It also notes a U.S. connection:

Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi descent who had attended high school in Ontario, and Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, a student at Georgia Tech, boarded a Greyhound bus in Atlanta on March 6, 2005, and travelled to Toronto to meet “like-minded Islamic extremists,” a U.S. court document alleges.

At the time the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was watching the U.S. pair, Sadequee, according to court documents, was already on a no-fly list. But they crossed the border uneventfully and met three people associated with the group the Canadian authorities were watching.

Ahmed later told authorities that the meetings were to discuss U.S. locations suitable for a terrorist strike, including oil refineries and military bases, court documents state.

Canadian authorities insist that the suspects arrested today weren’t targeting the U.S. Stay tuned.

Update: Poor, uneducated, underprivileged, disenfranchised:

Rocco Galati, lawyer for two of the Mississauga suspects, said Ahmad Ghany is a 21-year-old health sciences graduate from McMaster University in Hamilton. He was born in Canada, the son of a medical doctor who emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago in 1955.

Shareef Abdelhaleen is a 30-year-old unmarried computer programmer of Egyptian descent, Galati said. He emigrated from Egypt at the age of 10 with his father who is now an engineer on contract with Atomic Energy of Canada, the lawyer said.

Update: How bad is the problem? Al Jazeera (of all places) quotes the director of CSIS saying there are 350 “high-level targets” inside the country, and 50 to 60 separate groups linked to Al Qaeda.

Update: A lot of bloggers, including Instapundit, are speculating about a connection between these arrests and yesterday’s raid in London. Why? Every study of Al Qaeda these days emphasizes its decentralization. Supposedly there’s very little command and control; there might not even be an “organzation” per se anymore. As the RCMP said today, the suspects were inspired by AQ’s ideology but they appear to have been operating freelance. Just like the 7/7 bombers in London.

If AQ is calling the shots, then nabbing Osama and Zawahiri is paramount because it lets you pull the tree up out of the ground by its trunk. But if they’re not calling the shots, then you’re not looking at one tree with many roots. You’re looking at a forest. Much scarier, in my opinion.

Update: Meanwhile, in Britain, the big story isn’t the suspected chemical weapons plot but the fact that one of the suspects was wounded in the shoulder by a policeman.

Update: I was wondering when someone on the left would accuse the new conservative PM of staging the raid to “frighten” the electorate. Here you go, via Pajamas Media. Your quote of the day:

The only time Paul Martin ever tried to inflict this kind of fear and anxiety on us was during the last election. And considering what Harper’s been up to lately, I’m thinking maybe it wasn’t just a hoax after all.

And more from Canada’s answer to DU, via Kate at Small Dead Animals.

Update: A new detail from the CBC:

Bill Blair, the city’s police chief, told CBC News that officials had gathered information about dates chosen for the attacks, but he refused to provide details.

Update: America’s answer to DU, i.e., DU, also suspects “George W. Harper” of freaky deaky fear-mongering mind-control shenanigans. Ace has the link.

Update: For whatever this is worth, the World’s Most Alarmist Website says the RCMP ain’t done yet:

11:37 AM UPDATE: Canadian authorities arrested a dozen men, five juveniles and expect to arrest that many more in what authorities are calling the largest arrest of terrorists in Canada. All of the men were arrested in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and numerous weapons, ammunition, explosives, and at least three tons of ammonium nitrate was taken from an area north of Toronto.

Update: Let the seething and whining begin:

Handcuffed to one another and wearing leg irons the detainees stood silently while the justice of the peace remanded them into custody until June 6 when they are scheduled to reappear.

Through their lawyers, some complained about the conditions where they were held Friday night and asked that they be given copies of the Qur’an while in custody.

Meanwhile, outside the Brampton courthouse, a portrait of cultural assimilation:


Update: The Counterterrorism Blog notes that some of the arrests were made near the giant nuclear power plant at Pickering. Update: Wow. SeeDubya has a long memory.

Update: Reader Jacob K. e-mails to correct me: “The CSE (Communications Security Establishment) is more of a Canadian equivalent of the NSA than CSIS is.” I guess the proper analogy for CSIS is CIA or MI5.

Update: The Muslim Canadian Congress congratulates the RCMP on a job well done. And here’s an interesting perspective from an article by the Canadian Press:

“One of the things I’ve been hearing talked about for a couple of years now is the jihad generation. These kids are no longer being recruited in the mosques, they’re trying to (recruit) them outside of the mosques because a lot of the elders, a lot of the imams, don’t approve of that sort of thing,” Thompson said.

Update: The National Post looks at root causes. The Internet figures prominently.

Update: The thread is now being updated here.