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Old 08-25-2010, 02:12 PM
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Default Canadian National Post: RCMP dismantle alleged Ottawa terrorist cell

RCMP dismantle alleged Ottawa terrorist cell

Stewart Bell, National Post · Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010

OTTAWA — The RCMP dismantled an alleged Ottawa terrorist cell with suspected links to al-Qaeda on Wednesday morning, making two arrests in the nation’s capital without incident.

The men are suspected of preparing a terrorist attack targeting Canada. The ringleader allegedly attended training camps in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region.

But the bomb plot was described as not well defined and the arrests were apparently made on Wednesday because one of the suspects was preparing to travel abroad.

A news conference has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The RCMP, Ottawa Police Service and Canadian Security Intelligence Service were involved in the operation.

“At approximately 8:00 this morning, “A” Division’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (A-INSET) investigators arrested two Ottawa residents in relation to terrorist offences,” the RCMP said in a news release on Wednesday afternoon.

“Search warrants are being executed in order to secure additional evidence. More arrests are anticipated.”

The suspects have not been named publicly.

Ottawa defence lawyer Samir Adam met for more than half an hour with one of the accused at Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin Street early Wednesday but had not been officially retained as counsel as of last evening.

Adam would not disclose what the two discussed but said he expects the accused to appear in court today.

The case is considered the most significant counter-terrorism operation in Canada since Project Osage, the 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18, young al-Qaeda-inspired extremists who plotted attacks in southern Ontario.

A vehicle was removed during the search of 91 Esterlawn Private this monring. The registered owner of the vehicle is Ahmed Misbahuddin, 36.

A search of court records involving Misbahuddin shows that he was arrested for speeding in March 2009 on the Ottawa River parkweay. At the time he was living at 220 Woodridge Cres. in Ottawa. RCMP are searching that address this afternoon.

“He seemed like a nice young guy,” said Robert Farrell, the owner of the home at 91 Esterlawn Private.

His enant works as an x-ray technician at the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital, Farrell said, and lives in the home with his wife and their infant daughter of about six-months old.

“They seemed to be more of a traditional Muslim family.”

Mr. Farrell, a former Canadian diplomat who had been stationed in the Middle East, said he recalls Ahmed saying he was born in India but had lived for a time in Saudi Arabia.

“We met his wife at the time. She seemed quite nice.” She wore an Iranian-style head covering, Farrell said.

Ahmed rented the home about a year ago, after responding to ad Farrell placed on an online rental site. Farrell said he carefully checked his tenant’s references in the application and called the hospital to verify.

“His immediate supervisor gave him a very high recommendation. She said he was a very stable and very steady and a reliable employee,” Farrell said.

Although police have released little information on Wednesday, the case appears to fit the pattern of so-called homegrown terrorists, the term for Canadians who have become radicalized and adopted the al-Qaeda ideology.

"It is clear that Canada is not immune from international or home-grown radicalization," said a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. “The government continues to participate in activities to better understand extremism throughout the world and the motivations of individuals who engage in terrorism.”

Coming on the heels of the failed Times Square bombing and the Fort Hood shooting, the alleged plot could be the latest attempt by remnants and affiliates of al-Qaeda to use Western recruits to strike inside North America.

“There is substantial evidence from cases in the U.K. and the E.U. that various so-called homegrown groups do demonstrate a connection to an al-Qaeda centre in areas of doctrine, strategy, tactics and target selection,” said Prof. Martin Rudner, a Carleton University terrorism expert.

In a speech in Toronto on Aug. 9, when he would have already been briefed on the suspected Ottawa group, Minister Toews said he was increasingly concerned about the radicalization taking place in Canada.

“There are homegrown Islamists and other extremists here in Canada,” he said. “In this country, it is the right of all Canadians to hold and discuss a wide range of beliefs.

“But what we are seeing here is not about disagreement and debate. Our concern is with extremist ideologies that lead individuals to espouse or engage in violence. These individuals reject the values on which our country is based, and they must be stopped.”

He said indoctrination and radicalization were occurring partly on the Internet and the speed at which they were radicalizing was proving a challenge for police and intelligence agencies.

“While only a small fraction of a percentage of our population is engaged in activities that pose a security threat, we need to thwart such threats before they can be carried out,” he said.

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:04 PM
Twoller Twoller is offline
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Default Former Canadian Idol arrested

More on this,

Fourth suspect arrested in terror case: RCMP


Mr. McKercher made the comments after one of the three other suspects, Khurram Syed Sher, appeared in court in Ottawa Friday morning.

The 28-year-old Sher, a doctor who once auditioned for Canadian Idol, appeared nervous on being led into court by two RCMP tactical officers. He stood in the glass-enclosed prisoner’s box with his hands in his pockets before taking them out and crossing them in front of him.

A tall man with a somewhat scraggly black beard, he wore a striped dress shirt and dress pants. He said nothing except to speak to his lawyer in a hushed voice.

He was remanded into custody pending an appearance by video next Wednesday with his two Ottawa co-accused.

Dr. Sher, who was arrested in London, Ont., where he had recently moved, is charged with a single count of conspiracy to facilitate a terrorist offence with two Ottawa men, Hiva Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26.

It is alleged the three men conspired with three other people, who are not in Canada and have not been charged, and with other unknown persons in Canada, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Dubai and Iran.

In the aftermath of the arrests Muslim leaders from Ottawa met with police Thursday to seek assurances their community was not regarded with suspicion. During his tour of Canada’s North, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was asked Friday how he would try to prevent an inflammation of racial or ethic tensions because of the terrorism arrests.

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