Last Updated: May 10, 2010 9:21pm
Canadian government and police agencies risk Muslim extremist infiltration should they remain naive and wary of questioning people’s backgrounds and motives, an intelligence expert warned Monday.
“We’ve had the luxury of so many warnings” from around the world, former top CSIS planner David Harris said in an interview.
In a country renowned for cultural tolerance, too many officials, fearful of being called racists, don’t do thorough background checks, he said.
With limited intelligence resources, you cannot begin to pretend you are screening the 260,000 newcomers to Canada each year in any meaningful way, Harris said.
Even after trials disclosed radical cells wooing disenchanted youths, Canadian laws limited investigations, he said.
Canada has genuine non-violent Muslims, Harris stressed.
But he said some immigrants pose a “stealth Jihad” threat, trying to lull Canadians into complacency with moderate statements decrying violence, while influencing lawmakers by branding investigations as Islamophobic.
He said documents in the early 1990s showed radical Muslims — implanted in the U.S. three decades earlier — vowing to “undo the infidel’s house from within.”
“Many reasonable people don’t want to believe there is a threat,” Harris said.