by Jerry Gordon and David B. Harris (August 2012)
On December 14, 1999, Ahmed Ressam, an Al-Qaeda trained Algerian Jihadi and resident of Montreal, was arrested in Port Angeles, Washington after he drove off a ferry from Canada with a trunk load of explosives. Thus began the unraveling of the Millennium plot, an attempt by al Qaeda using sleeper cells in the US and Canada, to conduct an attack on the Los Angeles International Airport.
Canada has witnessed its own spectacular Islamist attack plots. On June 2, 2006, counter-terrorism raids in Metro Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario netted 18 suspected Al Qaeda terrorist cell (“Toronto 18”) operatives at several para-military training camps. In Toronto, the suspects were planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and attack the Canadian Broadcasting Centre and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) regional headquarters. In Ottawa, Canada’s Parliament was to be invaded and the Prime Minister of Canada, beheaded. A trial subsequently disclosed significant evidence that resulted in guilty pleas and convictions that were later upheld by an Ontario appeals court in 2011. In April 2004, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese Muslim background firebombed the library of the United Talmud Torahs Jewish School in Montreal, Quebec. This was a clearly Islamist antisemitic attack that sent a fearful message to Canada’s 380,000 Jews.