The Canadian Terror Plot

(Re-posting this blog entry from June of this year in light of new revelations that the Canadian "Terror Cell" was thoroughly infiltrated with moles up to and including the leadership level. -r)

Thursday, June 8, 2006.


May 29th thru June 2nd saw the appearance of terror pundits on the normally dreadful Canada AM.

“It’s just a matter of time.”

“It’s not IF it’s WHEN.”

“We’ve let the conditions take hold and flourish…”

The verdict was in, terror was on the march.

Then the late night news on Friday, June 2nd brought the confirmation, a series of terror-related arrests had been made in Ontario.

Game, set and match.

Sketchy Details & Paranoia.


That was the top headline of the Edmonton Journal on Saturday, June 3rd.

Ottawa to commit $5.5B for C-17s, new Hercs

That was the second billing on the front page.

The details were choppy about the “Terror Sweep”, (Coming Soon to a neighborhood near YOU!), but the CanWest News Service was happy to speculate;

Police provided no details, but arrests in Canada have been widely anticipated since April, when the FBI announced it had arrested two Georgia men on terrorism-related charges. The FBI said at the time that the suspects, Ehsanul Sadeqee and Syed Ahmed, met in Toronto with at least three subjects of a terrorism investigation to discuss training and attacks. (1)

Widely anticipated? By who? Canada AM pundits? Stephen Harper’s advisors? Clearly not the alleged Canadian terrorists who carried on with their alleged plans… evidently terrorists don’t watch the news.

...RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officials emphasized the threat of homegrown terrorism. (2)

Homegrown… not just for breakfast anymore. But that isn’t the worst of it;

“We have cases of white Anglo-Saxon male Protestants converting to the most radical forms of Islam. These are people who blend in with us and our neighborhoods ...” (3)

That’s right, Hoser. The toque is no longer a guarantor of your fidelity to the Crown. Be afraid, very afraid.

Fleshing Out the Tale.


Now we’re talkin’. Three tonnes. So, visualize three 4×4 pallets stacked 5 feet high with bags of fertilizer (roughly). Funny, they only displayed one bag as evidence on the TeeVee. Oh well. I’m sure they have the hundreds of other bags or so stored neatly away on a loading dock or something.

The second bill on Sunday June 4, 2006;

All fake, father charges
Snipers on court roof as 15 suspects arrive

So, THREE TONNES OF EXPLOSIVES then ‘All fake’... hmm… what a combination! Even Joe Frazier would duck and sway. Keep ‘em guessing, eh, Edmonton Journal?

“It was their intent to use it for a terrorist attack…” (4)

Who needs a legal system! The RCMP says they had the intent, so BAM! End of story! Move along, citizen!

Oh, wait…

“It is all fake for God’s sake. There is no foundation” for the charges, said Mohammed Abdelhaleen, father of Shareef, 30, of Mississauga, Ont., who is among those arrested.

Inside the court, the accused and their lawyers heard nothing about the alleged evidence gathered against them. (5)

Say what? But, but, they have 3 frickin’ tonnes of almost OKBOMB stuff, right? Right?

The six-month RCMP investigation, called Project OSage, is one of several overlapping probes, including an FBI case called Operation Northern Exposure and a British probe kwown as Operation Mahzar. (6)

“Northern Exposure”? At least they have a sense of humor. However, Alaska is not Canada, eh? They could have at least went for some local flavor, like Operation Great White North:




Aly Hindy, imam at the Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Ont., said the charges would be proved false.

“I think it will fall apart. I’m just worried for the community. This is an attack on the Muslim community. Canada has the best Muslim community, we are very safe and peaceful,” he said at the centre.

“We are abusing our boys for the sake of pleasing… George Bush,” Hindy said outside the courtroom.

“The CSIS and RCMP are feeling threatened – not of terrorism but of losing their jobs. They need to create an atmosphere of fear in the country to keep their jobs.

“They talk of homegrown terrorism. This is homegrown baloney.” (6)

Let it not be said that the CanWest News Service only spins in one direction.

One more detail;

Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, making at least nine arrests, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden and Bangladesh. (7)

The paper had already reported that the number arrested had jumped to 17, and now 18 others around the globe?

Alrighty then.

It Ain’t Over.


The RCMP, which had been monitoring the group, switched the fertilizer with a benign substance before it was delivered to the suspects Friday. (8)

Ok. So… these guys were arrested with a bunch of white powder… not “THREE TONNES OF EXPLOSIVES”... ok, well as far as the Canadian media goes, these guys are guilty. Of something. Dammit. Monday June 5, 2006 sees terror take over the Canadian media… for a couple of days, anyhow.

Although the Toronto papers have the majority of the goods, the CanWest News Service has been distilling the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and other papers, offering up tidbits that may not be getting covered by other wire services. These distilled reports make up the bulk of the Edmonton Journal terror coverage.

The Ontario terror story bled into local talk radio on Edmonton’s 630 CHED, (a plague unto the masses), over the AM band. By Monday evening every network TV broadcast was milking the story for all it was worth.

“If you want to have a secure nation then you have to be vigilant. If you want to be vigilant, that means you’ve got to give the resources to your security forces.” – Stockwell Day, Public Safety Minister. (9)

Ok, Stockwell. Whatever you say Stockwell. The truth is in the spin, or not in the spin as the case may be.

If we turn to page A5 of the Monday Journal we see an alternative point of view, this group of alleged terrorists may have been exposed because one or more of them were discharging automatic weapons near Washago, Ontario.

You see, fully automatic rifles have been banned from civilian use in Canada since 1979. You would have to be daft to fire one off within 20 miles of anyone that you didn’t know and trust.

But that’s exactly what they did last winter, blasting away in the sticks when a farmer ratted them out;

Police quickly honed in on the camp, setting up surveillance cameras in nearby rural mailboxes and in barns overlooking the entrance to the property.

“The police were all over these guys,” said the farmer. “They had cameras all over the place, taking pictures of everyone coming and going from there … and helicopters flying over almost every day.” (10)

Now, if you were alleged terrorist A, and you noticed a fairly major change in the aerial traffic, namely; a chopper starts going over practically everyday, would you just keep going? Come rain, come sleet, come choppers, the terror must be delivered? Would you start firing your obviously illegal firearms even more?


I say give more resources to the farmers, guardians of the land and terrorist hunters extraordinaire.

Papers! We Must… Sell… PAPERS!


Evidently, “THREE TONNES OF EXPLOSIVES” just wasn’t good enough. Threats against the CN Tower and the CSIS headquarters… boring. The paranoia generated by planting the notion of “homegrown terrorists” cropping up at the golf club… relatively benign.

The Canadian news cycle consumer demands red meat. They demand nothing less than Stephen Harper’s head!

And so allegations from the Crown boomed from the collective mouth of the Canadian press on Wednesday, June 7, 2006. (Tuesday was a little repetitive.)

Ever get the feeling that news coverage is designed to elicit a specific reaction from the viewer? Shock, horror, outrage… not necessarily in that order.

By making the thoughtcrimes of the alleged terrorists personal, (physically attacking the Prime Minister), a visceral attachment is formed. This isn’t just some building or some strangers… this is an attack on Canadian democracy made flesh. Patriotic sacrilege!


Sorry guys. This is Canada.

Parliament, the CN Tower, CSIS headquarters… Stephen Harper’s head… pretty small beer.

Now, if one of the alleged terror targets was the Hockey Hall of Fame… even worse, if an attack had succeeded, I’m afraid that there isn’t a facility on the planet secure enough to protect the accused.

By Thursday, June 8, the Great Ontario Terror Plot had lost front-page status.



(1) The Edmonton Journal, Hundreds of Officers in Raids, Saturday, June 3, 2006 p. A3

(2) IBID

(3) IBID

(4) The Edmonton Journal, Three Tonnes of Explosives, Sunday, June 4, 2006 – Front page.

(5) The Edmonton Journal, All fake, father charges, Sunday, June 4, 2006 – Front page.

(6) The Edmonton Journal, This is homegrown baloney, Sunday, June 4, 2006 p. A3

(7) The Edmonton Journal, Three Tonnes of Explosives, Sunday, June 4, 2006 – Front page.

(8) The Edmonton Journal, It’s very much stay tuned, Monday, June 5, 2006 p. A3

(9) IBID

(10) The Edmonton Journal, Rural Ont. site of training camp, Monday, June 5, 2006 p. A5

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP

It should be noted that this is not an isolated case. In fact, it was exactly this kind of false-flag activity that gave birth to Canada’s CSIS;

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP, better known as the McDonald Commission, was a royal commission called by the government of Pierre Trudeau to investigate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a number of illegal activities by the RCMP Security Service came to light in the 1970s. The Commission, Judge David Cargill McDonald, was established in 1977 and issued its final report in 1981.

The McDonald Commission examined a number of allegations made against the RCMP, including its theft of the membership list of the Parti Québécois, several break-ins; illegal opening of mail; burning a barn in Quebec where the Black Panther Party and Front de libération du Québec were rumoured to be planning a rendezvous; forging documents and conducting illegal electronic surveillance.

The Commission’s report recommended that police be required to obey the law and that judicial authorization be required before police could open mail. Its principal recomendation was to remove responsibility for national security from the RCMP and assign it to a new civilian spy agency. This recommendation was followed with the establishment of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in 1984.

"Homegrown terror."

Terror at the Centre of the Universe

Terror at the Centre of the Universe

By Paul Richard Harris
Jun 11, 2006, 10:59

Since the arrest of 17 alleged ‘terrorists’ in and around Toronto on June 3, Canadians have been bombarded by pundits telling us we should have seen this coming, that we are too naïve for our own good, that this should be a real wake-up call for us. Naturally, the Washington know-it-alls who previously couldn’t have pointed to Canada on a map (the world’s second largest country -- hang a left at the Great Lakes, folks), are all instant experts on how lax we have been and the superb effort by our security forces to execute this ‘apprehended insurrection’ (a phrase that might be recalled by Canadians of my own generation).

Well, it should be a wake-up call … but I’ll get to that later.

So, where’s the real threat? Let’s have a look at who got arrested, how those arrests came about, and what machinations might have led to the arrests at this time, rather than two years ago when the alleged plot was allegedly uncovered.

Police swooped in and arrested 17 misguided punks. They all appear to have been born and raised in Canada, many of them are still teenagers (some too young even to be named in the media), and with the details behind the charges dribbling out slowly, it isn’t hard to see that this is a group of phenomenally stupid young men. That’s not to say they might not have done some real harm, and putting an end to that threat is certainly a good thing. But how serious might this threat have become if not for the able assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS)?

Much of the story about this plot remains to be seen because, as of this writing, police still have not provided much detail about the charges against these individuals or about the evidence. Indeed, lawyers for the accused are apparently being stymied because even their clients have not been presented with the evidence against them. They are all being held on fairly vague charges related to belonging to terrorist groups, though police are quick to point out that they actually do not belong to terrorist groups. In short, the charges against them are that they have committed the crimes of being stupid and not very nice guys. I do hope the Crown has more up their judicial sleeves than that but, to date at least, that’s about what the charges amount to.

[Lost in the thousands of stories that have consumed Canada’s media during the past week is any real discussion about one of the most ‘shocking’ claims: the threat that the Prime Minister and other government officials might, allegedly, be targeted for beheading. No one in the media has pursued whether that might not bring about some improvement in Canadian politics. But I digress.]

There is a large number of Muslims in Canada and, for many Canadians, they are more than welcome to live here. Their culture enriches the already substantial mix of cultures that make this such an interesting country. Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the hub of all this alleged terrorist activity, is generally regarded as the most ethnically diverse city in the world.

But with that mass of humanity, from so many backgrounds and cultures, it stands to reason that not all people who live here, whether born here or not, will be altogether happy with all aspects of Canadian life.

It seems the young men arrested in the Centre of the Universe (all Torontonians know that you who think your home is actually the centre of the universe are simply misguided) were not happy with Canada’s position on Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq and they were persuaded to do something about it. Something quite drastic, quite deadly, quite illegal.

From what we know so far, there is the potential that these guys might have done some real damage. But the evidence made public at this point makes clear they couldn’t have done much without the assistance of our security forces. These alleged terrorists purchased a huge quantity of fertilizer (it’s ironic that you need to buy fertilizer to target Parliament Hill, where it is given away freely) in order to construct a Timothy McVeigh-type of bomb. McVeigh, you will remember, parked a truck loaded with explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer outside a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 that resulted in the deaths of 168 people.

So how did Canada’s security forces catch wind of the purchase of all this fertilizer in Toronto? Simple, they sold it to the alleged terrorists. I’m no legal expert so I don’t know if this sting constitutes entrapment, but, from all the evidence released so far, it appears these terrorist dudes were absolutely toothless until the security crew sold them this ‘weapon’. Essentially, up to that point they appear to have been no more than a bunch of misguided bigmouth jerks. Does that mean they were criminals, or did our security forces help them to become criminals?

Canada being what it is, a fairly tolerant and not overly aggressive country, there are better than even odds that some of these young men will be convicted of nothing. Not because of some legal technicality, but because they haven’t actually done anything and couldn’t have done anything without police assistance. Beyond the fact that is going to make us look inept – again – one has to question why the police initiated this action, and why at this time. To answer that, you need look no further than our Anti-Terrorism legislation.

Although the federal government, the RCMP, and CSIS have been crowing about this victory over terrorism since the arrests were made, they and the obedient mainstream media, have simply been orchestrating a climate of fear, à la US Homeland Security. The Deputy Commissioner for the RCMP, Mike McDonnell, says that this alleged group of terrorists “posed a real threat. It had the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks.” No evidence of this has been presented, mind you, not even to the accused. But it turns out security forces had been watching this group of people since 2004 and, if police media releases are to be believed, sufficient evidence to lay charges was gathered long ago. That begs the question if ‘smashing this terrorist plot’ happened at this time for some particular reason.

You bet it did.

In 2001, in a knee-jerk reaction to the events of September 11, Canada’s parliament rushed through an appalling piece of work known as the Anti-Terrorism Act. That law gave police and security officials the ability to suspend civil liberties whenever it suited them, just by claiming there was some kind of plot being hatched. Now in the case of real plots, that kind of power might have some merit. But there are no provisions that require them to persuade a judge, or a civilian or elected watchdog, that there really is a threat of some kind.

Canadians have never really liked to think of their society as being a big-brother-is-watching kind of place, so parliamentarians took the precaution of giving this legislation an end date. Guess when it’s up for review? Yup, right now.

Is it possible CSIS and the RCMP thought this was a good time to make the point that reinvigorating this draconian law would be a good thing? Is it possible that this might be a good time to seek increased security budgets? And for the federal government, who has had some difficulty convincing Canadians that we should dramatically expand our intervention in Afghanistan (one of the main gripes of the alleged terrorists), this plot could not have come at a better time. Add to that the government’s push to suck up to the Bush administration, and the reasons for the arrest of these guys at this time, and the sting that made it all possible, become self-evident.

If police had sufficient evidence to arrest some or all of these guys at some point during the past two years, they should have done so. This recent action can be seen as nothing more than an orchestrated ploy for budget resources, for reinforcing draconian police powers, for political gain. That’s not to say that these aren’t bad guys and that some might not belong in jail, but portraying this as a massive security threat apprehended by Dudley Do-Right and his buddies is a load of claptrap.

Earlier I indicated this event should be a wake-up call. But not for ordinary Canadians who can either: (a) now sleep better knowing our security folks are ever-vigilant; or (b) can’t sleep at all knowing our neighbours might be out to blow us up. It should be wake-up for the Islamic community.

This is a generally tolerant country but we don’t like to be frightened any more than anyone else. The Islamic community is going to have to monitor more closely its radical elements and to pay more attention to what its children are learning. Although Muslims are not alone in having extreme (perhaps even crazy) elements, their position in the world right now has created a situation where their radicals have been able to gain the hearts and minds of many otherwise decent people. It seems likely that only increased vigilance within the Muslim community is likely to be able to turn that tide.

But under no circumstance should the Islamic community be blamed for these boneheads. These ones just happened to be Muslims, but whackos come in all stripes.

The Toronto terror plot and the Canadian establishment’s politic

The Toronto terror plot and the Canadian establishment’s political agenda

By Keith Jones – World Socialist Web Site -

The alleged Toronto terror plot is being used by Canada’s ruling elite to stampede the public into accepting a dramatic shift to the right in Canada’s foreign and domestic policies.

By conjuring up the image of a Canada under siege from al-Qaeda and “homegrown” Islamicist terrorists, the Conservative government, the national security establishment, the corporate media, and a pliant official opposition are seeking to overcome popular resistance to Canada’s participation in wars, closer collaboration with the Bush administration, further economic and geo-political integration with the United States, and increased repressive powers for the state.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been quick to hold up the alleged Toronto terror plot as proof of his longstanding claim that Canada is not immune from terrorism and to justify Canada’s enhanced role in suppressing opposition to the US-installed Afghan government of Hamid Karzai.

“This country is as much a [terrorist target] as the United States,” affirmed Harper in a radio interview last week. “That’s why not only is the government acting nationally against terror threats, but we’re working globally in Afghanistan and all over the world to deal with this problem.”

The uncovering of a Toronto terrorist network has come at a highly sensitive time for the four month-old Conservative government and Canada’s national-security establishment. Last month the Harper government took the highly controversial decision to extend and expand the Canadian Armed Force’s counter-insurgency mission in Afghanistan.

Parliament is currently conducting a statutory review of Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Adopted in December 2001, the act created a new category of political crimes subject to harsher penalties, empowered the state to compel testimony, and expanded the state’s prerogative to prevent the accused in terrorism cases, their lawyers, and the public from knowing the substance and source of evidence against them.

And this week the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the constitutionality of “national security certificates”—a legal instrument whereby the state can indefinitely detain persons without charge.

A familiar pattern

Canada’s ruling elite is following the international pattern of using a grossly-exaggerated terror threat to push for the implementation of a pre-determined right-wing agenda.

The Bush administration seized on the events of September 11, 2001 to realize the US elite’s ambition of seizing strategic beachheads in the oil-rich regions of Central Asia and the Middle East and, through the Patriot Act, greatly expanded the state’s power to spy on domestic opponents of the government. Bush, Vice President Cheney, and both the Republican and Democratic parties have repeatedly invoked the threat of further terror attacks to try to manipulate the electorate and intimidate even ruling-class critics of their actions.

In Britain, Bush’s closest international ally, Tony Blair’s Labor government used last July’s London bombings to bring forward the latest in a series of anti-terrorism laws that have armed the police with major new powers and effectively ended the right of habeas corpus. Among the key features of the most recent legislation was a sweeping attack, in the name of preventing the fomenting and “glorification” of terrorism, on the right of free speech.

It is events in Australia, however, that most closely parallel those now unfolding in Canada. Last November, when the right-wing government of John Howard was seeking to ram through a draconian anti-terrorism bill and facing mounting opposition to its anti-worker labor relations reform, 850 Australian police and intelligence personnel raided scores of Sydney and Melbourne residences and arrested 17 Muslim men on vaguely-worded terrorism charges.

In the days that followed, the press and politicians whipped up public fear and panic, insisting that the state had, in the words of New South Wales Police Minister Carl Scully, “disrupted a large-scale operation which, had it been allowed to go through to fruition ... would have been catastrophic.” Later, police officials had to concede that they had no evidence of particular locations, dates or methods of the alleged planned attacks.

The police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization also revealed that they had been closely monitoring the men for nearly 18 months, using phone taps, physical surveillance and previous house raids.

All the circumstances surrounding last November’s raids point to political motivations and manipulation, so as to assist the Howard government in its assault on working conditions and democratic rights.

The Australian media’s trumpeting of unsubstantiated allegations has completely compromised the right of the accused in the alleged terror plot to a fair trial. Seven months after their arrest, they remain locked away for 20 hours a day in isolation cells, without the right to publicly answer the accusations made against them.

Howard, whose government has deployed Australian troops to support the US-British occupation of Iraq and mounted its own overseas military interventions in East Timor and the Solomon Islands, last month became the first foreign head of government to visit Canada under the Conservatives—a measure of the esteem that the Conservatives and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have for Howard and his Bush-style politics.

In all the aforementioned cases of terrorist attacks and alleged terrorist conspiracies, there are serious inconsistencies and outright holes in the official explanation. Months, and in the case of 9/11, years after the threat of terrorism was used to effect fundamental changes in state policy, key questions as to the role played by security forces remain unanswered.

In this, the alleged Toronto terror plot also conforms to the familiar pattern. Even if one excludes the possibility that police informants played a role in the crystallization of the alleged Toronto terror plot—and we do not—it is evident that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), with the approval of first the Liberal and then the Conservative government, were involved in manipulation.

Police-intelligence sources have admitted that security forces had at least some of the 17 alleged Toronto terrorists under state surveillance since 2004 and had enough evidence to arrest many or all of them months ago, but chose not to. Rather, CSIS and the RCMP let the terror plot grow, so they could better use it to bolster official claims that Canada is a frontline state in the war on terrorism and stage arrests when most conducive to their aims and those of the government.

Only after some of the alleged terrorists had accepted shipment from undercover police of 3 tons of what they reputedly believed was a fertilizer that can be used in making bombs, did police swoop in to “smash the terrorist plot”. By placing phony bombing-making materials in the hands of the alleged terrorists, CSIS and the RCMP sought to lend a measure of verisimilitude to their claims that the Toronto group, most of whom are young men or boys, had the “capacity” to commit carnage.

In a further piece of state-orchestrated drama, large numbers of machine-gun-toting tactical police have been mobilized for court appearances of the accused, who have been shackled at their hands and feet throughout their legal proceedings.

The corporate media, it must be emphasized, has been both complicit in, and pivotal to, the Conservative government and security forces’ attempt to whip up public anxiety and fear. Rather than critically evaluating the claims of the government, CSIS, and the RCMP, the media has mounted a sensationalist blitz aimed at amplifying and embellishing the authorities’ claim that only the prompt intervention of security forces spared Canadians one or more terrorist atrocity.

The media and leading Liberal and Conservative politicians have long complained that Canadians have failed to “get it” when it comes to terrorism, by which they mean that the public has proven resistant to their calls for Canada to increase the budgets and powers of Canada’s security forces, slash social spending so as to expand and rearm the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and join the US, Britain and Australia in adopting a much more “muscular” foreign policy.

A February 2005, Victoria, British Columbia hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence sheds light on the thinking that has prevailed in establishment circles. Members of the upper house of Canada’s parliament and a former high-ranking CAF and NATO officer deplored the fact that Canadians don’t believe their security to be at risk and lamented the “failure” of the country’s politicians to champion increased military spending in the face of widespread popular opposition.

Then-Liberal Senator Tommy Banks interjected that what is needed to change public attitudes toward the military and national security is better political leadership “or an attack.” Taking up Bank’s point, retired CAF Rear-Admiral Ken Summers declared, “Yes, and this goes back to 9/11. We have forgotten about that. ... I almost wish—God forbid—that there would be just a minor one here that would bring home to Canadians that this is important.”

The Harper government and the agenda of Canadian capital

Soon after the Bush administration came to power and began to implement its agenda of militarism and massive tax cuts for business, the rich and super-rich, powerful sections of corporate Canada began pushing for a major change in federal government policy.

In the preceding eight years, the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien had carried through the most sweeping social spending cuts in Canadian history, and then unveiled a five-year $100 billion program of corporate and personal income tax cuts. It had also won ruling-class plaudits for responding to the near-defeat of the federalist forces in the 1995 Quebec referendum by passing legislation that makes the national parliament the arbiter of the validity of any future referendum and threatens a seceding Quebec with partition.

But with the US bourgeoisie under Bush attempting to reverse the decline in its world position through militarism and intensified social reaction at home, corporate Canada increasingly came to see Chrétien’s promotion, even if it was little more than empty rhetoric, of a 1970s-style Canadian nationalism that contrasts a liberal, semi-egalitarian and pacifistic Canada to the militaristic dollar republic to the south as an impediment to pressing forward with the dismantling of Medicare and other remnants of the welfare estate and effecting a major shift in Canada’s geo-political strategy.

In respect to Canada’s foreign and military policy, a ruling class consensus was rapidly emerging in favor of two interconnected changes. The notion that the Canada’s military is a peace-keeping force must be buried and its martial tradition revived and promoted in the populace, so that the CAF can be used more frequently and overtly in waging wars and counter-insurgency operations that assert and advance the interests of Canadian capital on the world stage.

Canada’s foreign and national-security policy must be more closely aligned with that of the Bush administration so as to maintain Canada’s influence in Washington and ensure Canada’s full participation in an emerging fortress North America.

Given the lack of popular support for, and divisions between, the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative parties, corporate Canada first attempted to shift the federal government sharply to the right by encouraging Paul Martin, the multi-millionaire businessman who as Chretien’s finance minister had been the principal architect of the Liberals’ spending and tax cuts, to stage a political putsch within the Liberal party.

But the ruling elite soon lost confidence in Martin.

Within months of his becoming prime minister, he was being derided by the corporate media as a ditherer.

Martin was attacked for modestly increasing social spending, in the hopes of wining a popular mandate, and failing to “show leadership”—that is, to defy public opinion on issues like Canadian participation in the US missile defence program.

In the January 2006 federal election, Canadian big business shifted decisively behind the neo-conservative ideologue Stephen Harper and his newly unified Conservative Party.

Despite this support and the corporate media’s echoing of Harper’s claims that the election should be a referendum on Liberal corruption, the Conservatives barely scraped into power as a minority government, winning just 36 percent of the popular vote and not a single seat in Canada’s three largest urban centers.

Four months on, the corporate elite’s support for the Harper Conservative government, as indicated in the editorials of the leading dailies and the press releases of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, has grown still stronger.

Big business has applauded the Conservatives’ corporate tax cuts, the gutting of the Liberal national day care scheme, their renunciation in all but name of the Kyoto Accord on greenhouse gases, and their pledge to refocus the federal government on its core responsibilities—i.e., to massively scale back federal social programs.

But above all, Canada’s corporate elite has applauded the Conservatives for moving to assert its predatory interests and ambitions on the world stage.

The Conservatives have announced major increases in military spending, in accordance with Harper’s vow to expand the CAF to the point that the world’s major powers will take notice and eagerly pursued closer relations with the Bush administration. Pleasing Washington is one of the Conservatives’ motivations for expanding the CAF mission in Afghanistan, but by no means the only one. Through their very public promotion of the CAF intervention in Afghanistan, the Conservatives are seeking to whip up a patriotic-militarist fervor and acclimatize the population to war-deaths.

Just as the Bush administration used the invasion of Afghanistan as a stepping stone to the Iraq War, so the Harper government and the Canadian elite intend to use Canada’s growing involvement in the counter-insurgency campaign in southern Afghanistan to pave the way for further military interventions and wars.

But this open militarist and imperialist agenda threatens to become a focal point of popular opposition to the government. The weeks before the 2003 US-British illegal invasion of Iraq saw some of the largest demonstrations in Canadian history. Bush is popularly reviled in Canada.

Hence the need for the Conservatives and the ruling elite to resort, as have Bush, Blair and Howard, to the exploitation and manipulation of terrorist attacks and alleged conspiracies to try to frighten and confuse the populace and manufacture a political context in which they can brand those who oppose their policies as disloyal.

At the same time, big business has launched a concerted campaign to remold the Liberal Party. Michael Ignatieff, who emerged as a prominent “liberal” proponent of the US invasion of Iraq and defender of the Bush administration’s claim that the “terror emergency” necessitates the suspension of traditional civil liberties, has emerged, according to the media, as the candidate to beat in federal Liberal leadership race.

Ignatieff, who last month supported the Harper’s government’s decision to greatly expand Canada’s military intervention in Afghanistan, recently called for the slaying of Liberal “sacred cows,” including the party’s espousal of an anti-US strand of Canadian nationalism and Medicare.

Bob Rae, the other reputed front-runner for the Liberal Party leadership, expresses, albeit somewhat differently, the sharp shift to the right of the entire political establishment. As the New Democratic Party (NDP) premier of Ontario between 1990 and 1995, Rae slashed social pending and public sector wages and jobs and initiated workfare, paving the way for the coming to power of the arch right-wing Harris Conservative government.

Rae now criticizes his actions as premier, saying that he should have cut public and social services sooner and much more sharply and that today he has a much greater appreciation of the need to “promote growth”—i.e., to even more completely tailor government policy to the demands of big business.

Although Rae has formally parted ways with the social democrats of the NDP, they and the trade union bureaucracy are all on the same political trajectory, working ever more intimately and openly with big business and the political right in the implementation of a widening assault on jobs, wages, and democratic rights.

The Quebec trade unions, through their support for the Bloc Québécois, are effectively helping sustain the Conservatives in power. (The BQ is providing the votes needed to prop up the Harper government in parliament.)
Under conditions where auto workers are facing a massive assault on their jobs and working conditions, the Canadian Auto Workers union has severed its decades-long association with the NDP to pursue closer relations with the Liberals.

In the last parliament, while the ruling class was still weighing up Harper and his Conservatives, the NDP helped prop up the Martin Liberals, only later to assist the Conservatives in their attempt to use the charge of Liberal corruption as a smokescreen for their right-wing designs.

So impressed was Harper by the NDP’s repeated proclamations of its readiness to work with a Conservative government, he offered in late February to cut a deal with the social democrats to support his government for “an extended period of time,” said to be two years.

The NDP’s response to the alleged Toronto terror plot underscores it complicity with, and prostration before, the government-police-media scare campaign. NDP leader Jack Layton heaped praise on Canada’s security forces, while another prominent New Democrat repeated the lurid and outlandish claims of the press and police that the alleged terrorists plotted to behead parliamentarians.

So cowed were the social democrats by the mood of national emergency that reigned last week, they “mistakenly” voted in favor of the Conservative budget in parliament.

The events of the past two weeks must serve as a warning to the working class. For decades the social democrats and union bureaucrats promoted the myth of a gentler and kinder Canadian capitalism. But in the pursuit of “international competitiveness” in the struggle for markets, resources and geo-political influence, the Canadian bourgeoisie, no less than its US, British, German, or French rivals, is embracing militarism and social reaction.

Pursuit of this agenda, which is inimical to the interests of the vast majority of Canadians, is likewise compelling the Canadian elite to resort to the politics of provocation and to seek to develop extra-parliamentary means of overcoming popular resistance.

The turning point in the last federal election was the revelation by the top brass of the RCMP that it was investigating allegations of insider-trading surrounding a Liberal budget announcement—a move that served to bolster the Conservatives charges of systematic government corruption.

One year ago this month, the Supreme Court, with its decision in the Chaouilli case, provided the ruling class with a mechanism to achieve its longstanding aim of dismantling the country’s universal public health scheme, Medicare.

As defenders of the capitalist order, the unions and NDP are no more willing or able to mount a struggle in defence of democratic rights than they have been in defence of jobs, working condition and public and social services. For that a new party of the working class must be built on socialist and internationalist principles.

- World Socialist Web Site -

Muslim extremist admits he was spy...

Muslim extremist admits he was spy who revealed Canada bomb plot

By Toby Harnden
(Filed: 16/07/2006)

Muslim leaders in Canada have reacted with fury after a radical advocate of Sharia law revealed that he had been a government spy who helped to uncover an alleged al-Qaeda plot, writes Toby Harnden.

Mubin Shaikh, 29, came forward to confirm that he was recruited by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the country's equivalent of MI5, and directed a 10-day winter training course in guerrilla tactics.

During the course, which Mr Shaikh set up in a field in the remote village of Washago, Ontario, young Muslims allegedly dressed in camouflage, used guns for target practice and taped a video used to recruit others.

He said that he was initially asked to befriend the leader of a "cell" of 17 Muslims who allegedly planned to blow up the parliament buildings in Ottawa and Toronto's stock exchange. The 17, arrested last month, face terrorism charges.

"This is like the pot calling the kettle black," said Tarek Fatah, of the Canadian Muslim Congress. "He was the embodiment of extremism in the city and his spying calls into question whether he's acting out of sincerity, or is trying to fish himself out of his own troubles."

Aly Hindy, the imam of the Salahuddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Ontario, attended by some of the 17 suspects, said Mr Shaikh and Canadian intelligence had encouraged and entrapped young Muslims. "The government and the people keep saying that we should not make our young people radical. CSIS is the one radicalising the youth. I call him CSIS Shaikh."

But Mr Shaikh, who has declined an offer to enter Canada's witness protection scheme, is unrepentant, calling the suspects dangerous "fruitcakes" who deserved to be jailed.

The self-professed fundamentalist believed in holy war in Iraq and Afghanistan but not in Canada, he said.

"I wanted to prevent the loss of life. There are no combatants on the downtown streets of Toronto," he said.

Nada Farooq, the wife of Zakaria Amara, one of the accused 17, said: "I know this man. May Allah curse him and make him suffer."

Police had second mole in terror plot

(Ok. I don't see how it can get any worse for the Canadian Government (Crown)'s case... but at this point I'm not holding my breath. Not only has it been revelaed that the "Terrorist" who set up the training camp and allegedly made "Terrorist" videos, was a government agent, but the "Terrorist" who was intrinsically involved in arranging the fertilizer purchase was... you guessed it... a government agent. -r. )

Police had second mole in terror plot

POSTED AT 1:36 AM EDT ON 14/10/06

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has learned the identity of a second informer who was instrumental in Canada's most sensational anti-terrorism sweep.

Around the time 18 individuals were arrested on terror-related charges in June, a man vanished from his home in a Toronto suburb.

At first, most of his friends and business partners had no idea why he would leave his home, disappearing with his immediate family. The man, who is in his late 20s, had been going through money problems, as he often had before, but nothing particularly serious.

Then the man — whose record in business suggested he was more adept at making friends and gaining confidence than he was at turning a profit — began settling his debts by sending cheques in the mail. To his friends, his disappearance seemed the latest chapter in a series of strange behaviour.

A first mole, Mubin Shaikh, has already declared he was involved in a terrorist training camp, attended mostly by teenagers. But the second man, who was not acknowledged publicly until now, played an equal, if not more important, role.

Just as Mr. Shaikh was useful to police and the spies at the beginning stages of the plot, the second informant was crucial toward the end. It's believed that he put key suspects in touch with a police agent — possibly himself — who claimed to be able to purchase tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

By law the man, whose university studies included chemistry, can't be identified. But it's expected he will be an important prosecution witness when the case goes to trial.

None of the allegations against the 18 youths and men arrested in the sweep have been tested in court.

According to sources in the Muslim community, the informant helped this spring to facilitate a staged buy of fake ammonium nitrate, a transaction allegedly undertaken by several of those who have been charged. Police say the defendants wanted to use the fertilizer to build truck bombs, which were to be detonated at a series of downtown Toronto targets.

The purchase was instrumental for the case. Police have indicated that the moment the transaction was concluded, they swept the Greater Toronto Area to arrest suspects they had been watching for months, even years in some cases.

As the suspects were placed behind bars, the man seemed to disappear. Few if any of his co-workers and friends had any idea why he left everything and moved away.

As an employee who shared office space adjacent to him said: "He just disappeared off the face of the Earth."

Let's go to South America, he said.

It was a couple of days after Christmas in 2005, and the informant was trying to describe to a friend one of his favourite restaurants in the world. Realizing he couldn't do it justice with words, he decided — on the spot — to take his friend there.

The next day, they were on a flight heading south. The informant and his friend ate there twice in one day.

The South American trip was an audacious display of the informant's two great loves: travel and food. For a man who spent most of his life in just two countries — Egypt and Canada — he had already visited much of the world by his late 20s, taking advantage of what his friends describe as a natural talent for fitting in.

"We had an amazing time," his friend said in an interview, asking not to be identified. (In fact, because the case and his role in it are so sensitive, no one in government or the Muslim community would talk about the informant on the record.)

He "doesn't get lost anywhere he goes," the friend said. "It feels like he just knows his way around."

Less than six months later, the informant would find himself navigating through a far more sensitive network: a group of alleged extremists living in the Toronto area, most younger than him.

And now, because the informant may be in a witness-protection program, his identity is protected by law.

The informant was born in Canada, but lived and went to school for some time in Egypt.

His father is a professional by training. In Canada, the extended family lives for the most part in Southern Ontario.

The sprawling clan occupies various strata of Canadian society. It's unlikely that outside his immediate family any of the informant's relatives knew about his secret life.

Before becoming a police informant, the man attended high school and university in Egypt. In the late 1990s, the family moved back to Canada after difficulties with their business dealings in Egypt.

"If you ever do business in a Third World country, and then you do business in Canada, you see a big difference," a friend of the family said.

The informant was "very proud of Canada. He thanks God for being in Canada."

After returning to his birthplace, the young man's love of travel led him to a job in the travel industry.

But his passion was entrepreneurship. One of his first ventures was a catering business that fell apart after less than a year. It was around that time that the informant began to ask friends to help him with major purchases, such as laptops and other equipment.

Records show his parents filed bankruptcy papers in 2003, declaring $4,000 in assets and $26,000 in liabilities. The son, who looked to have run up his parents' bills, tried to sweet-talk creditors into letting the family pay back something less than 100 cents on every dollar.

The application was denied.

There were other business ideas. Along with another Canadian business partner, the informant planned to start an import-export business operating in Canada and the Middle East. However, his business partner pulled out, citing his young partner's tendency to embellish.

"For example, if you'd ask him how things were going [financially], he'd say they were great, but you could see a few days later that he was short of money," the former business partner said.

Acquaintances describe the informant as smart and ambitious. He could befriend just about anyone, even random hotel receptionists, who would quickly take a liking to him after he showed them how to spell their names in Arabic.

"He's very well connected," a friend said. "He knows everybody."

The informant also started another small business and worked at renting out furnished apartments. There were other sidelines. Whenever a friend was looking for a certain service, the informant directed him or her to a professional, usually an Egyptian, who could do the job, be it a painter, lawyer or accountant. For such referrals, he often demanded a commission, his former partner said.

"He's an amazing businessman. He knows how to tackle a system."

According to friends, the informant once had a fairly liberal worldview. He went to the occasional party and even proposed to a woman who didn't wear a hijab. Then, about four years ago, he began adhering to a more fundamentalist version of the faith. The stocky man grew his beard. His views on jihad, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabian clerics struck his friends as militant.

"I almost thought he was Wahabbi," one business partner said, referring to a puritanical strain of Islam.

One member of the Toronto Muslim community says the piousness was simply a means to an end. "He pretended to be religious in order to get close to these people [the suspects]."

It's unclear how long the informant would have worked with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the RCMP, as these agencies do not acknowledge their use of any individual informant.

The Department of Justice will not speak about any matters related to the continuing prosecution. And because the case of the Toronto 18 is probably the most high-profile case Canada has seen in years, no one affiliated with the investigation or prosecution wants to taint the case by saying too much about it.

Friends and business partners who suspected that he might have been an informer offer very different theories as to what might have motivated him.

"If he did it, I think it was because he wanted to protect Canada," one friend says.

"I think it was for the money," another says.

Others, including people close to the suspects accused of being terrorists, heap scorn upon the informant and the "dirty job" he did for police. "If you meet him," one man says, "you will know the difference between human and subhuman."

It is not known how much the informant would have been paid. His better-known counterpart — Mubin Shaikh, the sharia-law activist who says he helped run a terrorist training camp — says the government owes him $300,000 for acting as an informant. Mr. Shaikh was offered a chance to join the witness-protection program, but he opted not to — instead, he has told his story and seems unconcerned with any bad blood that might result.

The roles of the informants seem to have been highly compartmentalized. Before disappearing into a 10-day seclusion for the end of Ramadan, Mr. Shaikh said in an interview this week that he knew there was a second informant, but that he didn't know the man's identity.

The informant could not be contacted through any of the addresses, businesses or phone numbers associated with him before June. Nor could his wife, his parents or his siblings.

In the slick glass Toronto-area building where the informant kept a business office as recently as June, a janitor who remembers him said the man left months ago, never to be seen again. His officemates say they return his mail to sender, unopened. An airline employee who once worked with him said he left for Egypt in June. Another acquaintance says he's now living outside Ontario.

It appears the informant's extraction from his home in the immediate aftermath of the arrests was swift and complete. According to a friend, the entire immediate family left. At his listed addresses, no one answers the door and a next-door neighbour claims never to have heard of him. He occasionally sends mail to friends, but there's no new return address.

"He used to answer his cellphone immediately," one friend said. "Now, nothing."

But sometimes he calls to check up on old friends and business associates. "Sometimes he calls twice in one day," a friend said. "Sometimes he'll go two weeks without calling."

Last week, the owner of a printing shop that used to handle jobs for him received a call from the informant. He had already settled all his outstanding bills with the printer, but he called to see how she was doing and if everything was okay.

The owner of the print shop looked at her caller ID to see where her friend was calling from.

The display simply said Unknown Number.

Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents

By David Adelaide
19 October 2006

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Fifth Estate and the Globe & Mail, the “Toronto terror cell” arrested in June for allegedly plotting massive acts of terrorism against Canadian targets included not just one, but two Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) moles. This second Muslim man in the pay of Canada’s security forces is said to have been involved in the accused terrorists’ alleged efforts to construct powerful explosives.

Following the early June arrest of 18 young Toronto-area men on terrorism charges, government and media sources repeated ad nauseam that only prompt action by the security and intelligence services prevented a major terrorist atrocity.

The authorities’ contention that those arrested posed a real and imminent threat rested on two claims—both of which have proven threadbare. On the one hand, they pointed to a “terrorist training camp” held in rural Ontario during December 2005. On the other hand, the Toronto men’s intention to put into action their terrorist schemes was said to be proven by their alleged attempt to buy large quantities of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, from which bombs can been be made.

In the days immediately following the arrests, the World Socialist Web Site urged that “all of the claims of the government and the police concerning the alleged terrorist conspiracy, and the further revelations and speculations given out by the media, be treated with the utmost caution and a large degree of skepticism. None of the alleged facts presented by the authorities can be accepted uncritically as true.”

This warning was quickly vindicated when, in July, the identity of a first CSIS mole was made public. One Mubin Shaikh admitted to the media that he had been working for CSIS for two years, befriending members of the Toronto group and ultimately going on to lead the two-week “terrorist training camp.” This camp, which largely consisted of paint-ball games, was under blanket surveillance by CSIS and RCMP personnel, while a crack-Canadian Armed Forces special operations unit waited a short helicopter ride away for orders to intervene.

With last week’s news that a second mole was at the heart of the “bomb-making” part of the plot, the question is raised anew of the extent to which the alleged Toronto terror plot was—if not a complete fabrication of the security and intelligence apparatus—at the very least carried out with significant encouragement and “facilitation” from them.

Clearly, Canada’s security agencies were in a position to manipulate the alleged plotters—a group comprised almost entirely of young men. And manipulate them it did: The arrest of the 18 individuals followed shortly on the heels of an attempted purchase of fertilizer in which the seller turned out to be an undercover RCMP agent.

Moreover, it is incontestable that the national-security establishment and the government manipulated the public. Given the fact that the alleged terrorists had been under heavy surveillance for at least six months before their arrest and given the presence of two moles at the heart of the alleged plot it is preposterous to claim that only quick action by CSIS and the RCMP prevented a terrorist atrocity. On the contrary, everything points to the “smashing of the plot” having taken place at a time and under circumstances of the national-security establishment’s and government’s choosing.

The exact role that the second mole, whose identity remains secret, played in the fertilizer entrapment operation remains murky and the Conservative government—which has held up the Toronto “terror plot” as justification for the growing Canadian military intervention in southern Afghanistan—and Canada’s security agencies have no reason to want to clarify it.

Both the CBC and the Globe & Mail carefully worded their reports in such a way as to exclude any suggestion that the second mole may have played a role beyond simply “facilitating” the purchase of explosive ingredients.

According to the CBC, the second mole’s role was to provide “evidence to authorities that the conspirators had material they thought could be used to make bombs.” Given reports that the second mole had a background in agricultural engineering and chemistry—and especially given what has been reported about the role the first mole played in organizing and leading the “terrorist training camp”—it is reasonable to ask whether this “evidence” was gathered after the mole had provided them with instruction in using ammonium nitrate to fashion bombs and/or had proposed that they procure the fertilizer for bombmaking.

Rather than raise these obvious questions, the CBC report suggests the mole’s role was peripheral to the plot; that his role may have been limited to giving the alleged conspirators access to greater quantities of explosive material: “Sources have told CBC that the young mole’s degree in agricultural engineering could have given the alleged conspirators access to much larger quantities of ammonium nitrate than they could have purchased at ordinary retail outlets.”

The Globe & Mail, meanwhile, offers the following tortuous construction: “It’s believed that he [the mole] put key suspects in touch with a police agent—possibly himself—who claimed to be able to purchase tonnes of ammonium nitrate.”

Since the June arrests, the corporate- and state-owned media have not only failed to critically assess the claims of the government and security agencies. They have played a major role in the Canadian establishment’s attempt to use the alleged Toronto terror conspiracy to press for a sharp shift to the right. The media have amplified lurid police claims of possible terrorist scenarios, including the macabre spectacle of the beheading of parliamentary deputies. They have editorialized in support of greater powers and funding for Canada’s security-intelligence agencies and promoted Prime Minister Harper’s claims that Canada, no less than the US, is implicated in a open-ended “war on terror” that necessitates foreign military interventions.

As was the case with the first mole, the media has diligently regurgitated the national-security apparatus’ line that its agent’s actions were motivated by the desire to “prevent a civilian calamity,” to “give back to Canada,” etc, even as they simultaneously report facts that suggest a very different story.

The first mole claimed to have been paid $77,000 by CSIS for his services in infiltrating the Toronto “cell” and leading their terrorist training camp, and to be owed a further $300,000. These figures by themselves call into question not only the mole’s motives but also the reliability of the information he may have passed on to his paymasters. He clearly had a strong material interest in giving the security services what they wanted.

Similarly, the Globe & Mail has reported that before signing on as a police agent the second mole had been experiencing severe money problems, after several business ventures, in which he had involved his family, had gone sour. The paper pointed to a 2003 bankruptcy claim, filed by the mole’s parents, showing $26,000 in debts and only $4,000 in assets. Yet, following his disappearance shortly after the sensational June arrests, cheques began mysteriously arriving in the mailboxes of his creditors. Apparently the settling of debts was no longer a problem, suggesting that the second mole was handsomely rewarded for, and had a major pecuniary incentive in, assisting CSIS and the RCMP in securing “evidence” against the alleged Toronto terrorists.

It is curious that in the case of both moles their service to security forces was roughly coincident with a reputed turn towards increased religious orthodoxy. During the same period that Shaikh was on CSIS’s payroll, he was also publicly prominent as a vocal proponent of a failed attempt to convince the Ontario government to give Sharia law legal status in the settling of some family disputes. According to the Globe & Mail the second mole also evolved in a fundamentalist direction starting in 2002. The paper cited a business partner of the mole who “almost thought he was Wahabbi.”

The CBC and the Globe have refused to name the second mole, who they suggest may be in a witness-protection program, citing legislation that makes it illegal to name such national-security operatives. But the mole’s identity is undoubtedly known to some if not all the 18 accused in the alleged Toronto terror plot.

The determination of CSIS and the RCMP to keep the mole’s identity secret suggest they may be planning to take advantage of provisions of Canada’s new security laws to prevent public scrutiny of their actions. Under these provisions, in the “interests of national-security,” the public, the accused and defence counsel can be denied access to parts of the prosecution’s “proof” in terrorist cases.