I am republishing this article by David Harris on the occasion of this speaker coming to Ottawa U today.
David Harris, Calgary Herald
Published: Wednesday, September 07, 2011
The approaching tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks marks a critical point in Canada-United States relations. This milestone should remind us that allies’ support and confidence are decisive to a country’s survival and prosperity. In Canada’s case, prosperity and public safety require access to U.S. borders and to American diplomatic, military and intelligence channels. This access depends on U.S. confidence in Canada as a security partner.
Well before 9/11, I testified before a congressional subcommittee concerned about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s 1998 warning that more terror groups were in Canada than in any other country, except perhaps the U.S. Imagine American officials’ discomfort with today’s Canadian security problems.
Canadian-based Sikh extremists caused the world’s biggest pre-9/11 aviation-terror disaster, the 1985 Air India bombing. Today, India’s security officials privately regard Canada – not India – as a font of international Sikh extremism.
CSIS director Richard Fadden warned of illicit foreign-influence operations in Canada. One or two provincial cabinets could be penetrated, he said, as might local governments. Yet MPs shy away from asking whether Canada’s politicobureaucratic system is infiltrated.
American congressional leaders recently stopped Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plan to buy into the U.S. market. Huawei denies links with Beijing, but the company partnered with sensitive Canadian telecom systems and got a $6.5 million Ontario grant without debate. Now Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird dubs America’s strategic Chinese foe an “ally” and declares unreconstructed Beijing the political equal of democratic post-war Germany and post-Soviet Russia.
Canada’s growing Islamist threat is becoming an export, and American security sources say they know it.
Convicted in Chicago, Pakistani-born Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana plotted against Danish publishers of Muhammad cartoons.
Canadians reportedly kill for al-Shabab in Somalia.
Federal computer software consultant, Momin Khawaja, was a transnational jihadi.
Fateh Kamel’s Canadian group ran international operations. Meanwhile, a 2007 Environics poll found 12 per cent of Canadian Muslims – up to 119,000 people – could sympathize with a Toronto 18-type mass-casualty plot.
Some Canadian Muslim moderates say radicals dominate many Canadian mosques. Radical influence seeps into Canadian educational institutions, shaping Canadian minds in ways hostile to North American security. Ethnocultural community members warn about infiltration threats in Canadian public administration and the private sector.
Many moderate Muslims want the RCMP’s inept Community Outreach program shuttered for legitimizing radical elements through outreach “engagement.”
In 2010, an Ottawa outreach committee RCMP officer encouraged attendance at an RCMP diversity committee member’s “peace conference,” sponsored by four Green party members.
The conference agenda featured senior Tehran University faculty, and an Iranian “peace” activist whose website had a cartoon of a hook-nosed Jew. Imam Zijad Delic, then the Canadian Islamic Congress’s executive director, was originally scheduled; on his watch, the C.I.C. brought Yvonne Ridley – Taliban apologist and Iran Press TV reporter – to speak in Canada. All this while our soldiers were fighting and dying at the hands of the Taliban to help liberate Afghan women and citizens.
Canadian author Tarek Fatah suggested the defence department was infiltrated, its own National Capital Region Defence Visible Minority Advisory Group facilitating an invitation – later cancelled – to have Delic appear at a departmental Islamic celebration. Fatah spoke of the group’s Canadian “military officers who are Muslim, of Pakistani and Egyptian descent, who used their position in the visible minority caucus at DND to stage this invitation.”
This reinforces suspicions that Islamists in government launder controversial Muslims by facilitating speaking invitations for them.
Canada’s intellectuals have disappointed, too. Despite Tehran’s crimes, the Canadian International Council joined the University of Ottawa in an Iran conference, inviting National Iranian American Council’s Titra Parsi, commonly considered a Tehran fellow-traveller.
(He eventually withdrew.) The Council’s Hamid Jorjani refused an event media pass to a journalist who had been critical of Iran. Conference sponsors included DND and the federally funded Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies.
Canada’s immigration and refugee malaise accounts for much of the deteriorating security situation. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has turned Canada into the biggest per capita immigration receiver on the planet: 281,000 annually for a population of less than 34 million – closer to 600,000, counting visa-holders. Essentially vote-importing, this costs Canada about $23 billion a year net and many come from antagonistic countries.
“Public safety and social cohesion,” says leading Pakistani-Canadian Muslim commentator, Raheel Raza, “demand an immediate moratorium on immigration to Canada from Pakistan, Somalia and other radical-Islamist and terrorist-producing countries.” Pakistan is among Canada’s top 10 immigrant source countries. This idea should at least be discussed.
My pre-9/11 Congressional testimony warned of Canada’s increasing vulnerability to terrorism, radical infiltration and illicit influence.
Today, many American authorities ponder Canada’s reliability as an ally and guarantor of their northern front.
They – and Canadians – must ask whether Canada is doing enough to behave like a reliable ally with a secure future.
David Harris, director of the International Intelligence Program of INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc., is a lawyer with 30 years in intelligence affairs. This is based on a longer article appearing in the Summer 2011 edition of Diplomat and International Canada magazine.
© Calgary Herald 2011