Thursday, November 13, 2008

Canada, land of the refugees, and safe harbour for terror suspects


Well, well. There seems to be a whole lot of dodgy going on. The original report issued by the Toronto Star online has been completely re-written and incorporates both a Canadian Press and an Associated Press account without changing the original link or offering any citation that the report has been updated.

At the time, I didn’t think I needed to take a screen capture of the article so you will only have my word on it. In my favour, there is always the time my piece was published versus the new improved update time. And bloggers are the ones so often being accused of being unreliable by the mainstream media. I am letting my piece stand as originally written as it serves as a lesson in caution for any bloggers using a link to Toronto “Pravda” Star articles.

I have to hand it to the Toronto Star and their judicious editing team for dumbing down of the arrest of a Canadian-Lebanese man in Gatineau Quebec for the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue. Here is the Toronto Star’s account of all the ‘relevant’ facts:
OTTAWA – A Canadian man h Hassan Diab as been arrested and could face extradition to France in connection with the 1980 bombing of a synagogue in Paris.

Hassan Diab was taken into custody today on a provisional extradition warrant issued at the request of French authorities, said Justice Department spokesman Christian Girouard. He was being held pending a bail hearing, which normally is held within 24 hours of detention in such cases.

Girouard said that, under Canadian law, French officials will have 45 days to provide further legal details to back up their extradition request. Diab, a part-time sociology instructor at the University of Ottawa, was first named in French news reports last year.

A Reuters account I read earlier in the day was considerably meatier.
PARIS (Reuters) - A suspect in a bombing that killed four people outside a Paris synagogue in 1980 was arrested in Canada Thursday, the French Interior Ministry said.

Earlier, the website of the French magazine L'Express reported that Hassan Diab, a man of Palestinian origin in his 50s, had been arrested in the town of Gatineau in Quebec. "French judges involved in the case are there now," said a source familiar with the case in the Paris prosecutor's office.

Two French judges issued an international arrest warrant against Diab earlier this month. He is suspected of making and planting the bomb that killed three French people and an Israeli woman outside the synagogue in an upmarket area of Paris.
Twenty other people were wounded in the bombing. No group claimed responsibility.

In Ottawa, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed they had arrested a person at France's request but would not give more details. A police spokesman said the suspect would stay in custody until an extradition hearing is held. L'Express said Diab had dual Lebanese and Canadian citizenship and was a sociology lecturer at a university in Ottawa.

The Paris synagogue bombing on Oct 3, 1980 was ultimately attributed to the special operations branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It was also the first pre-WW2 strike at a synagogue outside of the Middle East and ushered in the era of security protocols for synagogues in Europe and North America. Not only did the blast result in the deaths of four people but scores of others were injured.

The only issue I have with the Reuters account is referring to Diab’s original nationality as both Lebanese and Palestinian. Lebanon has never accorded any Palestinian with citizenship – not even if the ‘Palestinian’ was the third or fourth generation born in Lebanon. But it really does make one wonder if the Canadian immigration department suffers from a severe case of PC-itus as it does appear only the most superficial of background checks is done on all potential immigrants from Middle East hotspots.

x/p at Dust My Broom - maybe.

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