By Judi McLeod & Doug Hagmann
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Startling news from Scotland today indicates that Canada--Ontario in particular--may be the next site for terrorist attacks.
Indeed, it now turns out that the arrests of 12 men and 5 teenagers as suspected terrorists in Toronto on June 2, 2006, didn't stop there but cropped up almost year and a half later in Glasgow. The 12 men and five teens are in custody in connection with the alleged attacks to the current day.
It is claimed that the attacks foiled by the 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.
According to [email protected], "The security services feared Scotland's first home-grown "wannabe suicide bomber" had been preparing to carry out a terrorist attack in Canada it emerged last night." ( www.scotsman.com, Sept. 18, 2007).
The message could just as well have been: "SOS to Canada from Scotland: Heads up!"
The scene for the apprehension of the suspect terrorist in Scotland was the same one where terrorists drove a vehicle through the plate glass windows of Glasgow's Airport.
"Mohammed Atif Siddique was stopped at Glasgow Airport before he could board a flight to Pakistan amid concerns that he might go "off the radar" and joined alleged Islamic extremists in planning large-scale terrorist attacks in Ontario."
Is Siddique a member of the 300 suicide bombers that graduated in Pakistan last June, dispatched on missions to London, Germany and Canada?
Instead of disappearing off radar, Siddique was apprehended and found guilty yesterday of a string of terrorism offences at the High Court in Glasgow. He now faces a jail sentence of up to 15 years, to be decided on Oct. 23.
"During his trial, the defence and prosecution had argued over whether the 21-year-old IT student was actively involved in promoting terrorist attacks or was merely a "foolishly stupid young man" simply researching Islamic terrorism.
Canada Free Press (CFP) readers will recall that cyber terrorism is one of al Qaeda' latest strategies. Terrorists using Internet websites to recruit and plan attacks are on the increase. See here.
Siddique was accused of providing instruction or training in the making or use of firearms and explosive by means of the Internet, between September 2003 and April 2006.
On April 13, 2006, Siddique distributed or circulated terrorist publications by means of websites he set up.
After the judge handed down the verdict, Siddique's solicitor, Aamer Anwar, showed his displeasure, accusing the authorities of launching an "unwarranted" attack on civil liberties and of creating a climate of fear for young Muslims.
Anwar said the Canadian accusations--which were not presented in court--were an attempt to "smear" his client.
"Flanked by members of Siddique's family, who run a shop in Alva, Clackmannanshire, Mr. Anwar said: ""Today, Mohammed Atif Siddique was found guilty of doing what millions of young people do everyday--looking for answers on the internet."
"This verdict is a tragedy for justice and for freedom of speech and undermines the values that separate us from the terrorists, the very values we should be fighting to protect. The prosecution was driven by the state, with no limit to the money and resources used to secure a conviction in this case, carried out in an atmosphere of hostility after the Glasgow airport attack and ending on the anniversary of 9/11."
Anwar, who contends that Siddique did not receive a fair trial, said he is considering an appeal.
But Maureen Brown, assistant chief constable of Central Scotland Police, who was in charge of the investigation, said the verdicts had sent out a clear message to people in Scotland who may support the al Qaeda cause. She said the case demonstrated that "we will not tolerate terrorism in any form, including the possession of materials which would be useful to someone wanting to commit an act of terrorism or to induce or encourage someone to take such a course of action.
Siddique was detained at Glasgow Airport on April 5th last year, as he prepared to fly out to Pakistan with his uncle.
Sources close to the investigation said it was believed he might have been preparing to become involved in a terrorist attack in Canada.
"It is thought Siddique had been radicalized by a man from the north of England who was being monitored by the Secret Service and was having online chats with him. The man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, is suspected of being a major recruiting agent and handler for al Qaeda, and is related to a central figure in an alleged Canadian suicide-bomb team" (emphasis CFP's).
Sources also claim Siddique had discussions with "someone in Canada" over the possibility of setting up terrorist training camps along the U.S. border.
CFP, through Northeast Intelligence Network (NEIN) director Doug Hagmann, has run a number of stories during the past year and a half regarding radical Islamic compounds, some of which nestle the Canada-U.S. border. See here, and here.
A source close to the investigation said: "The security services got intelligence that Siddique was about to leave Glasgow Airport for Pakistan, where he would completely go off the radar. Special Branch were asked to detain him without delay."
One source said the Canadian connections were "intelligence" rather than evidence.
Siddique possessed all of the trappings to perfect the image of homegrown innocence.
Described as a model pupil at school, Mohammed Atif Siddique was a well-presented, quiet young man who pitched in to help at the family shop in the Clackmannanshire town of Alva.
His father runs a newsagent's in the Myretoungate area of Alva, a town with a population of about 5,000.
Meanwhile Canadian authorities seem to have fallen asleep after the foiled terrorist attacks in the June 2 Toronto bust.
The Scotland experience underlines the vulnerability to a Canada with troops in Afghanistan.
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]