Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION: Made in Canada terrorism threat
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 7 Jun 2006, p. 6

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Homegrown terrorism. Once upon a time it seemed terrorist threats were the distant concern of our U.S. neighbours and other ally nations an ocean away. In the nearly 11 years that have passed since the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168, and more than five years since 9/11, the biggest risk to Canada seemed to be its proximity to and relationship with the United States. Last Friday night all that changed. Any hope that Canada might miraculously keep a safe distance from acts of terrorism evaporated with last weekend's massive counter-terrorism sweep. It was replaced with detailed media coverage of what the RCMP alleges was a homegrown terrorism plot to launch a series of terrorist attacks in southern Ontario utilizing three times the explosive material as the 1995 Oklahoma bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. The 17 suspects apprehended in the case include 12 men ranging in age from 19-43, plus five teens. All of the accused are either native Canadians or have lived in the country for years. In the aftermath of last weekend's shocking news, many questions remain unanswered but primarily: How did the co-defendants-- reportedly from vastly different social and economic backgrounds and most born or raised in Canada-- come to be accused of such a heinous plot? What could have fueled the anger of those charged? While we certainly don't condone mindless acts of vandalism such as the recent attack against a GTA mosque, we reserve our strongest condemnation for those who would plot to bomb anyone-- at home or abroad. While Canada has grown accustomed to combating terrorist threats overseas, we have to look back more than 35 years to the 1970 FLQ Crisis to find a similar situation where our nation faced the threat of an enemy from within. Time will tell if this is an isolated incident or the tip of the iceberg. If nothing else, this case has given Canadians a wake-up call that we are not immune to the threat of terrorism.

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7 Jun 2006
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OPINION: Made in Canada terrorism threat