Terror-related charges against one of 18 suspects arrested in police raids last summer have been stayed, indicating that the accusations levied against at least some of those charged in connection with Canada's most high-profile anti-terror sweep are not nearly as strong as they first appeared.
A youth suspect, whose name cannot be identified, essentially avoided prosecution after the Crown stayed charges against him related to participating in an alleged terrorist training camp. Prosecutors could decide to reactivate the charges within the next year, but lawyers say this rarely happens without the introduction of new evidence. The decision was made public in a Brampton courtroom on Friday morning.
Charges against two other youth suspects have been reduced to one count from two. Because trials have not begun for any of the suspects, the evidence already presented in court during the preliminary hearing remains under a publication ban.
On June 2 of last year, hundreds of police officers converged on 17 suspects in the Toronto area (an 18th was arrested two months later). Members of the group face several charges in connection with an alleged plot to, among other things, storm parliament hill, behead MPs and blow up several Canadian landmarks using truck bombs.
Nobody can say I didn’t try to raise a flag last June when the arrests were originally made and even more recently.
And can I do gloat now?
Perhaps, I would take these arrests far more seriously if anyone had serious connections to the any known terror groups currently operating, but these Al-Qaeda wannabe’s might never have gotten around past the talking the walk if not for the efforts of our own law enforcement officials. Jihad is real, and the consequences are terrifying and tragic for all who have the misfortune to cross the Jihadists’ path. I just am not feeling it here which is no doubt probably a good thing.
If anything, the CSIS and the RCMP appear to have managed to do what no other international law enforcement agency has done before; which is to shut down a Jihad cell of this size. Who would have thought it possible? Certainly not I, and I bet that Maher Arar wouldn’t either. If my memory is not entirely on the fritz, the US’s department of Homeland Security largest single capture was a grand total of 6 in a single swoop in Buffalo.
Another thing that nags at me is the diverse backgrounds with these pre-dominantly young men. Jihad as it is practiced out in the wider world tends to operate in cells based on a similarity of ethnic background. These young men do not share a common ethnic heritage and the bond that ties seems to be strictly their religion. But where Jihad is a way of life in such places as Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq or even Egypt; groups of Jihadists tend to co-operate in cells based on ethnic/tribal lines. It’s a trust issue. Saudis trust other Saudis before they will trust Syrians, Iranians or Palestinians etc. Who knows, maybe it is just another first for Canadian multiculturalism – our Jihadists cross ethnic/tribal lines.
Don’t get me wrong. Jihad is real and religious hatreds run deep and often explode with brutal but casual violence. Nor do I think there is very little that humans are not capable of doing to each other in the name of anything. After all, I’m the woman who has had to live with a Star of David craved in her door inscribed with the immortal phrase “Kill the Jew”.
I try to do really good gloat when I can, because often when I am right, the circumstances are so horrendous, that I cannot possibly live with myself if I were to wallow in the misery and suffering of others.