Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s FifthEstate and the Globe & Mail, the “Toronto terror cell” arrested in June for allegedly plotting massive acts of terrorism against Canadian targets included not just one, but two Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) moles. This second Muslim man in the pay of Canada’s security forces is said to have been involved in the accused terrorists’ alleged efforts to construct powerful explosives.
Following the early June arrest of 18 young Toronto-area men on terrorism charges, government and media sources repeated ad nauseam that only prompt action by the security and intelligence services prevented a major terrorist atrocity.
The authorities’ contention that those arrested posed a real and imminent threat rested on two claims—both of which have proven threadbare. On the one hand, they pointed to a “terrorist training camp” held in rural Ontario during December 2005. On the other hand, the Toronto men’s intention to put into action their terrorist schemes was said to be proven by their alleged attempt to buy large quantities of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, from which bombs can been be made.
In the days immediately following the arrests, the World Socialist Web Site urged that “all of the claims of the government and the police concerning the alleged terrorist conspiracy, and the further revelations and speculations given out by the media, be treated with the utmost caution and a large degree of skepticism. None of the alleged facts presented by the authorities can be accepted uncritically as true.”
This warning was quickly vindicated when, in July, the identity of a first CSIS mole was made public. One Mubin Shaikh admitted to the media that he had been working for CSIS for two years, befriending members of the Toronto group and ultimately going on to lead the two-week “terrorist training camp.” This camp, which largely consisted of paint-ball games, was under blanket surveillance by CSIS and RCMP personnel, while a crack-Canadian Armed Forces special operations unit waited a short helicopter ride away for orders to intervene.
With last week’s news that a second mole was at the heart of the “bomb-making” part of the plot, the question is raised anew of the extent to which the alleged Toronto terror plot was—if not a complete fabrication of the security and intelligence apparatus—at the very least carried out with significant encouragement and “facilitation” from them.
Clearly, Canada’s security agencies were in a position to manipulate the alleged plotters—a group comprised almost entirely of young men. And manipulate them it did: The arrest of the 18 individuals followed shortly on the heels of an attempted purchase of fertilizer in which the seller turned out to be an undercover RCMP agent.
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