Dozens of Canadians join Jihad terror camps Immigrants recruited, RCMP says, Part 2

Zubaydah was captured on March 28, 2002, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and has been talking to authorities, raising the possibility that he may help identify even more Canadians who trained at the camps.

The successful recruitment of Canadians into the jihad raises a troubling question for Canada: What is it that makes a middle-class teenager from Scarborough or Montreal give up everything and go halfway around the world to wage religious violence?

Professor Martin Rudner, a leading Canadian intelligence scholar, attributes the phenomenon partly to a sense of alienation among some Muslim youths, who turn to extreme religion to counter the marginalization they feel in Canada.

"Many of the al-Qaeda terrorists who have been identified spent their formative years in the West, in Europe, the U.S. and indeed Canada, but were alienated and socialized towards extremism," he said. "They are recruited because they seek to identify."

Another factor is that some young Muslim Canadians from countries such as Pakistan, Algeria and Egypt see themselves as participants in the religious conflicts of their homelands, forced unwillingly into exile.

"In that sense they are homeland-Islamic exiles rather than immigrants to Canada. They are recruited precisely because they are would-be combatants," said Prof. Rudner, director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

But not to be underestimated is the promotion of Islamic militancy by clerics, he added. "The Wahabbi movement in Saudi Arabia has been aggressively promoting its militant and, indeed, totalitarian perspective on Islam among Muslim communities across the world, through the funding of mosques and religious schools, the dispatch of clerics and teachers, the dissemination of religious tracts and other materials.

"Many of Canada's mosques and Muslim schools have been established under Saudi, and thus Wahabbi, auspices. The teachings of these religious and educational institutions can be expected to influence and shape the outlook of the Canadian Muslim community, and especially the mind-set of the young. They become targets for recruitment because of their militant religious acculturalization."

A CSIS agent estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 Muslims were trained at bin Laden's network of camps since 1980. With so many people passing through, some were bound to be Canadians. In fact, at least two Canadians were allegedly involved in running bin Laden's camps, Essam Marzouk and Abdullah Khadr.

Not one of bin Laden's recruits has ever faced any criminal charges in Canada for their participation in the jihad, either before or after the Liberal government hurried its anti-terrorism law through the House of Commons after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

By contrast, U.S. authorities have aggressively prosecuted those who trained for jihad. When investigators in Buffalo identified six Muslim youths who had trained at bin Laden's al-Farooq camp in the summer of 2001, they were charged with providing material support to al-Qaeda. All six pleaded guilty.

Where are all the Canadian jihadis now?

Marzouk is serving 15 years of hard labour in Egypt after he was arrested in Azerbaijan. Ressam is awaiting sentencing in the U.S. Abdulrahman and Omar Khadr are detainees at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The FBI has issued an alert for Jdey in relation to a possible plan to attack the United States. Abdulrahman Jabarah was killed in a gun battle with Saudi security forces.

Mr. Charkaoui is awaiting a trial that will decide whether he should be deported back to Morocco.

"Very few of them are [still] here," the Canadian official said. "A lot of them are dead. Some of them are gone.

"A lot of them are in jail in various places."

CAPTURED:

RAOUF HANNACHI Montreal-based recruiter for al-Qaeda. Returned to Tunisia in October, 2001, due to CSIS "harassment."

FATEH "MOUSTAPHA" KAMEl Leader of the Montreal cell of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group. Jailed in France.

OMAR KHADR Son of Ahmed Khadr, he killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Detained in Guantanamo Bay.

ABDULRAHMAN KHADR Son of Ahmed Khadr, he trained with al-Qaeda. Detained at Guantanamo Bay.

MOHAMEDOU OULD SLAHI A Mauritanian who lived at a Montreal mosque, he is said to have recruited 9/11 hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah. Detained at Guantanamo Bay.

ADIL "AL-MAGREBI" CHARKAOUI Trained at camp in Afghanistan, according to CSIS. Detained in Montreal, facing possible deportation.

AT LARGE:

ABDULLAH KHADR Son of Ahmed Khadr who is believed to have run an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.

HAMID AICH Fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia, he came to Montreal in 1995 and later moved to Vancouver, where he lived with Abdelmajid Dahoumane, who helped build Ahmed Ressam's bomb. He left Canada in February, 1999.

MUSTAPHA LABSI Trained in Afghanistan in 1998 with his Montreal roommate, Ahmed Ressam. He was arrested in London while trying to fly to Toronto but was released after serving a six-month sentence.

DEAD:

ABDULRAHMAN JABARAH Key figure in a group that organized attacks in Riyadh. Killed by Saudi security forces in 2003.

AMR MOHAMED HAMED Killed in 1998 at a training camp in Afghanistan.

© Copyright 2003 National Post


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