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Canada too friendly to terrorists: U.S. report

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Canada too friendly to terrorists: U.S. report


BY JIM BRONSKILL
CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Canada has been branded a "favored destination for terrorists and international criminals" by the research arm of the U.S. Congress.

Generous constitutional freedoms, weak law enforcement and lightly patrolled borders have made the country an inviting place for dangerous extremists to set up shop, says a new report by the Library of Congress in Washington.

"Canada has played a significant role as a base for both trans-national criminal activity and terrorist activity," the report says.

The report, titled Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism, was completed in October by the congressional library's federal research division under an arrangement with the Central Intelligence, Crime and Narcotics Center.

The center, staffed by members of various U.S. intelligence agencies, analyses information about illicit drug trafficking.

The authors drew on government studies, police and intelligence reports, media stories, academic articles and "personal communications with regional experts."

The report notes the recent co-operation between Canadian and U.S. officials in fighting terrorism. It also acknowledges Canadian steps to toughen anti-terrorism and immigration laws, but casts doubt on whether they go far enough, saying Canada's "liberal democratic identity" may limit adoption of sterner measures.

The Canadian government has expended great effort to try to dispel a nagging image of the country — particularly in the eyes of some hawkish Americans — as a terrorist haven.

The congressional library report could undermine that effort since the document is intended for politicians, aides, lawyers, and other movers and shakers on Capitol Hill.

Representatives of the Canadian government and public interest groups quickly took issue with the report.

"While we may have areas that we must continue to work on, every country has areas that it must work on in the fight against terrorism," said Alex Swann, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan.

"The issues that we have to deal with are pretty common ones globally."

Janet Dench of the Canadian Council for Refugees questioned the quality of the report's research, calling it one-sided and "laughably amateurish."

She said its themes are "chilling" and "virtually totalitarian" given the study's association of broad civil liberties with the cultivation of terrorism.

Numerous other countries, including leading industrialized nations like Britain, France and Germany, are also critiqued in the 234-page report, along with the likes of Algeria, Indonesia and Russia.

But only a handful of jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere — Canada, Colombia, Mexico and the notorious tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay — are the focus of attention.

The report claims that terrorists and crime syndicates are increasingly using Canada as an operational base and transit country en route to the United States.

"A generous social-welfare system, lax immigration laws, infrequent prosecutions, light sentencing, and long borders and coastlines offer many points and methods of entry that facilitate movement to and from various countries, particularly to the United States," the report says.

"These factors combine to make Canada a favored destination for terrorists and international crime groups."

The report highlights the case of Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian-born Montrealer caught trying to slip across the border in 1999 to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. While planning the attack, Ressam supplemented his welfare payments by stealing cash and credit cards.

The authors note that until recently there has been no widespread concern Canada could be the victim of a terrorist attack.

"Sensitivity to civil liberties combined with this low threat perception has made both the adoption and enforcement of tougher immigration laws and strong counter-terrorism measures more difficult."

Roch Tasse of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said U.S. policies seem entirely geared toward policing, protection and wariness of newcomers.

"We should have a very serious second look before we succumb to U.S. pressure to harmonize in their direction," Tasse said.

"Short of becoming a police state, we can hardly respond to what they would expect of us."

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Canada brought in new anti-terrorism laws, tightened screening of immigrants and refugees and worked out an extensive border-control agreement with its neighbour.

"However, enforcement will be the key," the report says. Success of the laws "will depend in large part on whether a new balance between civil liberties and security concerns will yield effective prevention."

For instance, the report contends the new immigration law would not have prevented Ressam from using Canada as a planning base.

Most of the criminal means by which terrorists raise funds, such as fraud, theft and counterfeiting, still would not disqualify a person from remaining in Canada, the authors argue.

The report even takes issue with the name of the 2002 law — the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act — saying it "serves as an indication of the prevailing concern for or priority placed upon civil liberties in Canada."

http://www.torontostar.com/NASApp/c...865&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037
 

Eccentric (LRG)

TRIBE Member
Idots.

God forgive our Government and fellow Canadians for feeling secure enough in our country to not take security precautions to an extreme.

So far we've had little to no issues with "terrorists" in canada.
And as for Ressam, they caught him or whatever before he got a chance to do anyting horrible right? So our security can't be *that* bad, no ?
 

kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Eccentric (LRG)

So far we've had little to no issues with "terrorists" in canada.
And as for Ressam, they caught him or whatever before he got a chance to do anyting horrible right? So our security can't be *that* bad, no ?
no. He was caught in the States with 100 pounds of explosives in the wheelbed of his trunk...CSIS lost track of him after '98. In the meantime, he was, among other things, providing Canadian passports and identity documents to his associates in Algeria and elsewhere. Pretty sobering thought, I'd think. I wouldn't be so comfortable saying we've had little or no issues with terrorists just because nobody's blown up anything here
 

Eccentric (LRG)

TRIBE Member
Understood.
I get what your saying, but do we honestly need to step things up... as hardcore as the states would like to see?

I mean I can understand "extra" pre-cautions on different things...but not extreme like America was about.
When it comes time to go somewhere and I can't get on a flight cause the metal plate in my head is a foreign object.. I'm gonna be a bit upset.
^^^ highly unlikely situation and silly at that but know what I mean ? Just trying to Illustrate a point.

aND I did not follow Ressams situation. So I didn't know what the facts are on that. Forgive my Ignorance. I just 'figured'.

I can't think. Must sleep now.



p.s. - theres no metal plate in my head. Just pointing this out.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
That's hilarious! I can't believe the report is criticizing our social welfare system, let alone the policies and standards for counteracting international terrorism. The United States has been so far innefective and in fact counter-productive in combatting these groups, so who are they to criticize other countries? In fact, one might argue that the largest instigator of international terrorism over the past 40 years is the United States.

What they are proposing does two things: limits your freedoms as a citizen (not to mention heightening fear and hostility amongst each other) but also generates a polarization between the state in which you live and that of others; this only feeds the problem of terrorism, it doesn't fucking solve it. How is sealing yourself in going to eliminate terrorism? How is it going to make you safer? Sure, in the short-term maybe, but in the long-term? No way: it'll just get worse.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the majority of hijackers from Sept 11, enter the US legally? From other countries other than Canada?

They might want to refocus efforts on what's going on inside their own borders first before casting stones at other countries.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
That's hilarious! I can't believe the report is criticizing our social welfare system, let alone the policies and standards for counteracting international terrorism. The United States has been so far innefective and in fact counter-productive in combatting these groups, so who are they to criticize other countries? In fact, one might argue that the largest instigator of international terrorism over the past 40 years is the United States.


Actually, allow me to rephrase: the first place we (humans) always look when placing blame is somewhere else.

That goes for Canada too.

So, given my comments above, I'd like to add that we should look at our own policies, however, we shouldn't be doing so because the U.S. government instigated it, nor do I agree that we should do so by escalating the wariness, fear and distrust that we see in the United States.
 
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Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
Was it not U.S. officials and U.S. customs that let terrorists into the U.S?
They need to put their own house in order first. Then we can talk.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
After seeing this thread earlier today, it got my hopes up when I heard about someone trying to cross into Canada with explosives.

Of course I was let down when they clarified things by mentioning that it was just some woman who got lost and had a grenade in the glove box.
 
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