My mother begins a slow, thorny grieving. Time wrinkles around her periodically heaving body. In May, she decides we will make umrah, pilgrimage, in my grandmother’s memory. My immediate family doesn’t do field trips. I can’t remember the last time that we, all seven strong, went anywhere together—we are always too busy or too dispersed. By month’s end, we are flying to Saudi Arabia for the first time in fifteen years.
Robert Hall, Canadian hostage, killed by Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippines. [CBC.ca] A Canadian man being held hostage for months by a militant group in the Philippines has been killed, sources say. Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf [wiki] had warned it would kill Robert Hall today if it didn't receive a ransom of some $8 million. Sources close to the situation in Jolo, the island where the al-Qaeda-linked group is based, and within Philippine security confirmed Hall's death early Monday to CBC News. [more inside]
Canada's government on Friday introduced its new anti-terror legislation, a sweeping range of measures that would allow suspects to be detained based on less evidence and let CSIS actively interfere with suspects' travel plans and finances. [more inside]
Actor spouts extreme views about Muslims to gauge reaction of public. In an attempt to test whether Canadians feel safe in the presence of Muslims following the fatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo by an Islamic extremist last week, director Omar Al-Bach conducted the experiment in Cirillo's home town of Hamilton to see how many people would defend a supposed Muslim from verbal abuse. (link to The Independent)
The Canadian Parliament and several blocks of Downtown Ottawa are unlocked down following shootings inside Parliament Hill and at the War Memorial a block away. A soldier at the memorial was shot. One shooter is dead inside Centre Block of Parliament Hill but at least one is still on the loose. Reports that shots have been fired inside the Chateau Laurier. University of Ottawa and large chunks of downtown Ottawa are on lockdown. Said one officer: "if you can see Parliament Hill, you're not safe." Live coverage from CFRA in Ottawa. Footage of exchange of gunfire inside Centre Block (Via Globe and Mail). This comes a day after another Canadian Forces officer was deliberately killed by a car that targeted him.
The Combating Terrorism Act (C-17) has passed second reading in Canada's House of Commons with the support of both Liberals and Conservatives. The bill would allow terrorism suspects to be jailed without trial for up to 12 months. So far it has been completely ignored by Canada's mainstream media. [more inside]
Earlier this week, the Mounties arrested Khurram Sher along with two other Ottawa men and charged them with terrorism related offences. This is where it gets complicated… [more inside]
The Toronto 18. "The [Toronto] Star was the first to break the news, just over four years ago, that an al-Qaeda inspired homegrown terror cell had been busted in Toronto. ... Numerous publication bans have kept the full story from the public. Now, with the case over, we can present the complete narrative of the Toronto 18: Who they are, how they met, what they did." This is a great example of how to present long-form journalism online.
And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour
Top Imams affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada have issued a fatwa calling those terrorists who attack the United States and Canada “evil.” ... Extremists have been told that any attack on the U.S. or on Canada will be construed as an attack on 10 million Muslims who live in these two countries. (via) [more inside]
On June 22, 1985, Air India flight 182 left Montreal en route to Delhi with 329 passengers aboard, most of them Canadian. Four hours later, an explosion in the baggage compartment destroyed the plane, killing all on board. Premiering tonight on CBC television, this documentary (trailer) recounts the final hours, days and weeks before the plane disappeared off Irish radar screens. It reveals the story of how Canada’s first major counter-terrorism operation failed to thwart the conspiracy and details the errors that resulted in the world’s most lethal act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11. (previously on MetaFilter) [more inside]
Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal. The act itself was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001 which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
Newsfilter: Canadian Police (led by the RCMP) have arrested at least 17 people that were plotting to "launch attacks against targets in Southern Ontario", apparently in large part by monitoring Internet co-ordination and communication. This days after the CSIS deputy director warned of "homegrown extremists" plotting "large scale attacks".
Not guilty. It's been nearly 20 years since Air India Flight 182 crashed into the ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, after a bomb went off in the luggage compartment. Today, the two main suspects in the case were acquitted. Families of the victims are upset, disgusted. Of the 329 victims, 82 of them were under the age of 12. Let's take a moment to remember them; victims of one of the worst terrorist acts prior to September 11th, 2001.
I'm sure the U.S. would have given them money for rooms at the Holiday Inn. Canadian immigration officers say a lack of detention space forced them to release a dozen men into the Toronto area who are suspected of having links to al-Qaida terrorists. Good friends, those Canadians.
Terrorists eye nuclear plants Monday, October 15, 2001 ."...A Kuwaiti man was found with sensitive documents about Ottawa nuclear energy and virus-control labs...."...more paranoia on what's next.
Canada gets it own Star Chamber. New "anti-terrorism" bill allows police to arrest and hold "suspects" for 72 hours without a charge, allows the government agency that monitors foreign communications to spy on Canadians, and creates "investigative hearings" in which you can be compelled to testify before a judge.
October Coffee Crisis. Montreal Gazette: "In its communiques, the BAF warned that Second Cup franchises were to be 'in the line of fire' and warned of an escalation of violent acts if Second Cup and other chains insist on keeping their trademark English names." More Trudeau nostalgia?