Terrorists crossing borders, smuggling, radioactive material, contraband, Senator Ken Salazar, cyber-terrorism


By —— Bio and Archives September 28, 2007

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TerroristsUncle Sam, occupied by the possibility of would-be terrorists among illegal aliens crossing its borders from Mexico, is now looking at Canada.

A recent U.S. government report says it would be easy to smuggle dangerous materials into the United States.

And if anyone wants to smuggle dangerous materials into the U.S., they have the more than 8,000 kilometers of US-Canada border to do so.

The independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) sent investigators to test how easily they could transfer large red duffel bags at four unguarded and unmonitored spots along the more than eight thousand kilometers of U.S. Canada border.

Terrorists"The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, described in a 13-page report delivered to Congress Thursday how easily they were able to penetrate the border at several spots.” (Canadian Press and Associated Press, Sept. 27, 2007. “The report claims that (it) shows how easy it would be to bring in radioactive material and other contraband.”

At a Capitol Hill hearing, U.S. Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado says there’s been far too much focus on the border with Mexico and not enough on the Canadian line.

Senator Salazar claims there are more international terrorist organizations in Canada than anywhere else in the world.

Senator Salazar is right.

Post 9/11 evidence indicates that terrorist groups have been operating effectively in Canada by taking advantage of Canada’s liberal immigration and political asylum policies and through the largely porous Canadian-American border.

According to an August 2002 report of the Canadian Security Intelligence service (CSIS), “...with the possible exception of the United States, there are more international terrorist organizations active in Canada than anywhere in the world.”

Terrorist-related activities in the Land of the Maple Leaf include fundraising, lobbying through front organizations, providing support for terrorist operations in Canada or abroad, procuring weapons and material, coercing and manipulating immigrant communities in Canada, facilitating transit to and from the U.S.and other countries, and other illegal activities.

On June 2, 2006, a terrorist attack foiled by RCMP and Toronto police stopped a mission that was to include detonating truck bombs, slaughtering shoppers and storming the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) and parliament building, where terrorists allegedly planned to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Earlier this month, Mohammed Atif Siddique, stopped at Glasgow Airport before he could board a flight to Pakistan amid concerns that the might go “off the radar”, was suspected to have connections to a central figure in an alleged Canadian suicide-bomb team.

According to the CSIS, in recent years, terrorists have moved “from significant support roles, such as fundraising and procurement, to actually planning and preparing terrorists acts from Canadian territory. In order to carry out these efforts, terrorists and their supporters use intimidation and other coercive methods in immigrant communities, and they abuse Canada’s immigration, passport, welfare and charity regulations.”

Siddique’s specialty was in the field of cyber terrorism.

The FBI-sought Adnan el Shukrijumah, who has a $5-million bounty on his head, is reputed to be a computer whiz and holds a Canadian passport.

Ahmed Said Khadr, an Egyptian-Canadian computer engineering lecturer was an alleged senior associate of Osama bin Laden’s militant network in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His son, Omar accused of killing one American soldier and blinding another when he tossed a grenade at them, is the only Canadian held at Guantanamo Bay.

The ease of terrorists crossing into the U.S. dates back to 1999. In December 1999, Algerian terrorist Ahmed Ressam was caught trying to cross the Canadian-American border at Port Angeles, Washington, with explosives in his car. Ressam belonged to a Montreal-based terrorist cell thought to be linked to both the Algerian terrorist group, Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and al Qaeda. The cell was apparently planning a millennium terror attack oat Los Angeles International Airport. In April 2001, Ressam was convicted in Los Angeles of conspiracy to commit terrorism, document fraud and possession of deadly explosives.

Thanks to the savvy suspicions of a U.S. border guard, Ressam was caught in the act. The ease with which Ahmed Ressam and his fellow terrorist cell members entered and left Canada, and Ressam’s ability to assemble bomb-making materials in Canada heightened concerns about border security and the apparent ease with which potential terrorists can move freely from one country to the other.

According to CSIS, countries from which terrorists originate are prolific. Terrorists from 50 different international terrorist organizations come to Canada masquerading as refugees. Nearly 300,000 immigrants are admitted each year to Canada.

Senator Salazar may be interested in knowing that Canada does not detain refugee seekers upon entry—even those with backgrounds that appear suspicious. Ahmed Ressam, for example, had entered Canada in 1994 claiming refuge status.

Customs and Border Protection officials told the GAO “the northern border presents more of a challenge than the southern border.”

“Our work shows that a determined cross-border violator would likely be able to bring radioactive materials or other contraband undetected into the United States by crossing the US-Canada border at any of the locations we investigated,” the GAO report concluded.

The U.S.-Canada border is the longest international border in the world.

Meanwhile, Canadian Public Safety Minister, Stockwell Day spells Senator Salazar’s Canadian border worries as, “over dramatization”.



Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.

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