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

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Inciting To Terror, Succumbing To Terror

"Based on Edmonton Police Services' analysis, the situation is safe. The Alberta Cheerleading Association certainly would not be holding the event if there were real safety concerns for its participants."
Denise Fisher, executive director, Alberta Cheerleading Association

So the West Edmonton Mall is confirmed as the venue for the ACA Cheerleading Championships. Unfortunately three dozen cheerleading teams have chosen to withdraw themselves from the competition. This, in response to the public fear generated by a video several weeks ago from the terrorist Islamist group associated with al-Qaeda, Al Shabaab in Somalia, extolling the Islamist virtues of jihad and inciting Somalians living abroad to target Jewish-owned shopping malls in Europe and North America.

On the other hand, according to Ms. Fisher, 150 squads and 2,800 athletes are still expected to attend the competition at the Edmonton mall famous for its immense presence, admirable features and shopping opportunities of such appeal to the public that it has become world-famous. The February 21 video had mentioned the West Edmonton Mall by name, creating much discussion not only in Canada but France and the United Kingdom and the U.S. respecting the safety of malls there as well.

Police and security agencies have investigated and consider the threat not indicative of the reality of an attack actually being perpetrated. Yet it is obvious enough that people feel threatened through this intimidating tactic, given the reputation of those from whom the threats emanate and recent attacks on Canadian soil by Islamist jihadis heeding the call of Islamic State for recruits to attack members of the Canadian military.

"This decision was based on paranoia and not safety. It's sending a message to the kids that they should be afraid for their safety, despite the RCMP, the Edmonton police and CSIS stating that there's minimal risk, there are great security measures in effect, and to carry on with our daily lives", commented Jennifer Bernes, taking issue with the Lethbridge G.S. Lakie Middle School's pulling out of the competition leaving her cheerleading daughter upset over her lack of opportunity to compete.

In response, the Lethbridge School District No.51 which had pulled its team out of the championships claimed they had consulted with their insurance company which thought it "prudent" to issue a travel warning, advising the school and students to distance themselves from the mall. A mall which not only has its own security system well in place, and now extended, but which has been commended for the quality of its security by public security agencies.

"This is the highlight of their year. They have a seven-year unbeaten streak there. They'd like to defend their title and to have that opportunity taken away from them without any discussion is shocking" was the opinion of Sandra Randa with a daughter on the squad, and another daughter coaching, who spoke of her daughters' "heartbroken" reaction. "Whoever it was that posted that video has now won because we're making a decision not to go based on the surfacing of that video naming West Edmonton Mall", stated another upset mother.

Who are obviously aware of real dangers that present to society, like vehicular accidents that take more lives during the course of a year than accidents that harm and sometimes kill young athletes taking part in the sports activities they love most, but who will never be disallowed by their families to travel, to participate in sports, and see no reason to let themselves be spooked at the bellicose incitements to attack malls in their neighbourhood by Islamist jihadis.

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