Remember Willy Horton? No, not the former Detroit Tigers baseball player, the former convicted murderer. He became famous (infamous?) in 1987 when, after he was released on a prison furlough programme, he raped a white woman and assaulted her fiance (Horton was African American for the record).
The same should not apply to terrorism. Last week a former Conservative cabinet minister, Diane Finley, told a parliamentary committee discussing a bill that would impose plain packaging for cigarettes that ‘contraband tobacco’ sales had financed the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (the 1993 one not 9/11). She was apparently trying to make the link between plain packaging, contraband and terrorism, although it is hard to see how she got there. It is also a valid question whom she represents in this matter.
The tobacco industry claims that contraband smokes have been used by international terrorist groups but would not go so far as to make the link to the 1993 plot.
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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. email@example.com