‘No imminent threat’ to West Edmonton Mall, RCMP say

Andrea Janus and Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, February 22, 2015 8:48AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 22, 2015 10:15PM EST

City police said there is “no imminent threat to Edmonton” after al-Shabab released a propaganda video on Sunday calling on Muslim fighters to launch attacks and named Canada’s West Edmonton Mall as a potential target.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, police said they are working closely with mall security and sharing information with the RCMP after the al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Somalia issued a video that urged attacks on shopping malls in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Al-Shabab was behind a 2013 shopping mall attack in Nairobi in which 67 people were killed.

Al-Shabab has released a video making threats against Canada, Britain and the U.S.

Edmonton Deputy Police Chief Brian Simpson said police are taking the issue seriously, but they have not identified a “specific threat.”

“I have to emphasize I feel West Edmonton mall is very safe, I also feel that this community is very safe,” he added.

Toronto imam Hamid Slimi calls for Ottawa to stop linking Islam and terrorism

End to the war of words: Toronto imam calls for Ottawa to stop linking Islam and terrorism

 | February 21, 2015 4:25 PM ET
Dr. Hamid Slimi, centre, chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies, called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror at a conference last week in Toronto.

DR. HAMID SLIMI Dr. Hamid Slimi, centre, chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies, called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror at a conference last week in Toronto.

At a conference to combat radicalization held last week in Toronto, a prominent local imam called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror.

“Lead by example, change the rhetoric, and stop saying these words. They hurt,” said Dr. Hamid Slimi, former chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams and current chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies.

The plea, met with overwhelming applause, referred specifically to remarks made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper weeks before that characterized mosques as potential spaces of radicalization.

Several days later, U.S. President Barack Obama, whose government has refused to use words such as “Islamic” or “jihad” to characterize violent extremism, found himself under fire for taking the opposite side of the semantic battle.

“What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?” former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani reportedly said, after the president defended his government’s position this week at a White House summit on combating extremism.

“We are not at war with Islam,” Mr. Obama said. “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

Raed Jaser talked about using sniper to kill prominent members of Canadian society and “rich Jews”

Alleged Via train plot unravelled after police encounter, trial hears

Raed Jaser recorded telling Chiheb Esseghaier and undercover agent to ‘get somebody else’

The Canadian Press Posted: Feb 10, 2015 8:53 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 10, 2015 7:10 PM ET

A brief brush with police triggered the unravelling of an alleged terror plot to derail a passenger train in the name of radical Islam, the trial for the two men suspected of masterminding the scheme heard Tuesday.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier still seemed determined to carry out an attack that would take people’s lives, court heard, but after the incident they had different ideas on how to do it.

Via rail terror plot suspectsChiheb Esseghaier, left, and Raed Jaser, centre, each face multiple terrorism-related charges in an alleged plot to derail a Via train. (Pam Davies/CBC)

Jaser and Esseghaier face multiple terror-related charges in the alleged plan to attack a train travelling from New York to Toronto. Not-guilty pleas have been entered for both men.

The first cracks in the alleged train plot appeared when they spent a day in September 2012 surveying a railway bridge they allegedly planned to sabotage with the help of an undercover FBI agent who gained their trust, court heard.

Secret audio recordings of conversations between the men which were played in court revealed the increasingly strained relationship between the two accused as Jaser expressed his concerns about their ability to damage the bridge.

MONTREAL: Tunisian Nejib Belhaf-Chtioui arrested for terrorist-related comments


MONTREAL – Quebec provincial police say they’ve arrested a man on terrorism-related charges.Police say Nejib Belhaj-Chtioui was the subject of an outstanding warrant and was arrested Sunday at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport upon returning from Tunisia.Belhaj-Chtioui is expected to appear in court in Montreal this afternoon.

Authorities say he will face two charges relating to the terrorism hoax section of the Criminal Code — conveying information and committing an act to cause reasonable concern that it is connected to a terrorist activity.

The investigation was conducted by a provincial police unit that probes extremist threats.

Reports of possible terrorist financing increase in Canada after deadly attacks

David Ljunggren, Reuters 

OTTAWA – The number of reports of suspicious transactions in Canada possibly related to terrorist financing have jumped in the wake of two deadly attacks on soldiers last month, an official said on Thursday.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC), set up in 2000 to combat money-laundering and ensure the compliance of 31,000 financial entities doing business in Canada, asked institutions to quickly flag possible wrongdoing after the attacks.

“In the last few weeks there has been a notable increase in the reporting of suspicious transactions … related to terrorist financing,” said FINTRAC spokesman Peter Lamey.

“They are also of good quality and comprehensive in many cases. It’s been useful to the work we’ve been doing,” he added, declining to give specific details of the numbers.

Lamey would not say whether any of the reports were linked to the fatal attacks.

FINTRAC said last month that in the 2013/14 fiscal year, it passed on 1,143 cases to law enforcement bodies out of 81,735 potentially suspicious transactions reported by institutions – an increase from 919 the previous year.

Of these disclosures, 234 were specifically related to terrorist financing, up from 157 the previous year.

In an annual report presented to Parliament on Thursday, FINTRAC said it had received 241 requests for information from foreign intelligence units in the 2013/14 fiscal year, up from 202 the previous year.

OTTAWA: Retired US Marine Fox Sinke not intimidated by death threats after marching on-guard at the National War Memorial in honour of fallen Cpl Nathan Cirillo

Retired Marine receives threats after guarding War Memorial 




Decorated retired US Marine Fox Sinke said he’s received death threats since he drove to Ottawa from his home two hours away and marched on-guard at the National War Memorial in honour of fallen Cpl Nathan Cirillo. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Retired U.S. Marine Fox Sinke has experienced fear for the first time.

The Seaway Valley resident and dual citizen travelled to Ottawa last Friday and marched for several hours at the National War Memorial, in honour of fallen Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

His tribute was captured by a TV news crew to whom Sinke pledged “I’m paying tribute to him, as best I can. We are not intimidated. Take your best shot.”

He wasn’t shot at, but several calls were made to his home phone. Men’s voices, which he believes were speaking in Arabic, threatening his life.

“I don’t understand much, but I understand the words — I want to kill you,” he said.

Sinke may not be afraid of the threats, but he’s worried his actions have put his family in danger and he’s not about to take any risks.

“I have somehow managed to put my wife and kids in harm’s way,” he said. “Of all the firefights I’ve been in, I’ve never felt anything akin to fear. But this puts a fear in my heart that makes it hard to breathe.”

Sinke says he’s received about 300 friend requests on Facebook since his trip to Ottawa. He’s been encouraged to come back for the service on Remembrance Day.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Imam Imtiaz Ahmed said the news is troubling.