Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Terror Tourists"

"Terrorists are the worst kinds of cowards because they deliberately target innocent members of the public who are not prepared for combat."
"The message needs to be sent out that anyone who aspires to become part of such evil must pay a heavy price."
"Offenders with Canadian passports, like Mr. Hersi can easily return to Canada further radicalized, ready to carry out terrorist acts within our borders. [He was] poised to become a terror tourist, bringing back with him untold dangers. The courts must take a strong role in discouraging such activities."
"After fleeing his native land because it was torn by civil war, and receiving refuge in Canada, Mr. Hersi decided to break Canadian laws so he could return to Somalia and perpetuate violence. And despite being the recipient of a privileged Western education, with its emphasis on free thought, Mr. Hersi aspired to join a terrorist group that seeks to annihilate those who think differently."
"Al-Shabab is lock, stock and barrel a terrorist organization ... [a] fanatical group that indiscriminately ills innocent civilians [a group] prepared to twist the Koran into a killing manual."
"He was going to personally wage violent jihad against disbelievers. He wanted to fight in a holy war. ... He was not joining Al-Shabab to stuff envelopes or help out on a bake sale."
Ontario Superior Court Justice Deena Baltman

One can only now assume that the smiles of sneering indifference have at least for the time being been wiped off Mohamed Hersi's face and those of his supporters. Former security guard Mohamed Hersi at age 28 was handed down a ten-year prison term to compensate him for his attempts to make common cause with a terrorist group, and in the process attempt as well to persuade others he thought to be sympathetic to the same cause.
Mohamed Hersi
Mohamed Hersi, outside Brampton court in April. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun files)
As the first Canadian to stand convicted of those crimes his sentence was stiff, given the fact that he had not yet embarked on his mission. But the presiding justice felt the sentence expressed this country's determination to dissuade any others who might feel similarly inclined. Not that there haven't been previous instances where young Canadians have embarked on such journeys.
However, alerted to the threat that a significant number of young men have been suborned, recruited as jihadists to join terror international in the name of serving viciously fundamentalist Islam, Canada's intelligence agencies have launched special investigations for the purpose of waylaying them before they depart the country.

Those who have broken away and were subjected to terrorist training, and taken part in conflict may wish to return, bringing their newfound skills and attitudes with them. To be avoided at all costs, so CSIS and the RCMP have a double task, to prevent the aspiring jihadist from leaving Canada and moving on to jihadist training camps, then to the conflicts taking place in North Africa and the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and returning back home to Canada to further jihad in the very place which nurtured them in the alter-ideologies of Western democracies.

Born in Mogadishu, he arrived in Canada at the age of five with his family. Granted refugee status, Mohamed Hersi became a Canadian citizen in 2000. Enrolled at the University of Toronto he achieved a BA in health studies and psychology. What a huge assist that was to him and to Canada. Like many other young people graduating with an arts degree he was unable to find employment in his field.

He found employment with Intercon Security as a security guard and it was when he dropped his uniform off at a dry cleaner's who found a USB drive in that uniform that police were alerted to discover a copy of the Anarchist Cookbook, Department of National Defence documents, Islamic texts and internal Intercon reports, on that USB drive. On his way to board a flight to Cairo he was arrested "minutes away from flying out of the country, beyond our grasp", said Judge Baltman.

"He has been a committed jihadist for many years, and he is prepared to renounce his mother's love for the cause. How do you rehabilitate an already privileged man for whom neither love nor learning has any meaning", asked the judge. "It is very harsh and we were not expecting this kind of decision from the judge, but we still believe in the Canadian justice", said Mr. Hersi's uncle, Mohamed Tabit.

"As a family we see that this is a political trial and nothing to do with the justice system. We believe this has been orchestrated and fabricated by the police. ... An innocent person is in custody now", said Mr. Tabit more than adequately demonstrating his profound belief in Canadian justice.Govern

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