Every year, many Canadians flock to Trinidad and Tobago to escape the harsh winter climate. In addition, there are some 70,000 Canadians of Trinidadian stock, including one of the hosts of CBC’s The National, Ian Hanomansing, and pop singer Amanda Marshall. The ties between the two nations run deep.
Alas, these ties also extend to terrorism.
Few Canadians remember a serious terrorist plot that unfolded in Canada decades before 9/11, and even before the first World Trade Center bombing which was an attack that brought the terrorist threat from Islamist extremists to the attention of many. In 1991 five men, including several Trinidadians, were accused of planning to bomb an Indian cinema and a Hindu temple in the GTA supposedly to protest Indian control over Kashmir, but were thankfully stopped before they could set their plan in motion.
They belonged to Jamaat ul Fuqra (JuF), an Islamist extremist group that is virulently anti-Indian and is believed to have been headed by a Pakistani cleric named Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani. JuF has been listed as a terrorist entity at various times and goes by the name “Muslims of America” in Canada, the US, and…Trinidad. They establish communes of like minded believers, including converts and released prisoners, where there are allegations of ‘paramilitary’ training: they even created one not far from my cottage in the Madawaska Highlands of Ontario.
”We in Canada have to ensure that our immigration system has the resources and knowledge to identify and keep bad actors out.”
There are three primary lessons to draw from the incidence of Islamist extremism in Trinidad and Tobago and what it means for our country:
Thus even Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean country seldom associated with terrorism, can surge to the top under the right conditions
b) We in Canada have to ensure that our immigration system has the resources and knowledge to identify and keep bad actors out.
Following from the earlier point, it is not just Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan you have it worry about since the threat can arise from anywhere
In this case convicted terrorists who were not citizens were deported on the termination of their sentences. Why can we not do the same in the national security certificate cases? And why do so many naive Canadians take up the fight for terrorists in this country? There are hundreds of thousands of legitimate immigrants and refugees and we cannot allow the few bad apples to spoil the bunch. They need to go.
We in Canada have to ensure that our immigration system has the resources and knowledge to identify and keep bad actors out
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President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting. Phil worked as a strategic analyst in the Canadian intelligence community for over 30 years, including 15 at CSIS, with assignments at Public Safety Canada and the Ontario Provincial Police. He specializes in radicalization and homegrown Al Qaeda/Islamic State/Islamist-inspired extremism. firstname.lastname@example.org