Jason Kenney says ‘there’s nothing we will do’ to cease extremists from leaving Canada to combat elsewhere

‘What we will do is to attempt to monitor networks that recruit and radicalize youth,’ Kenney mentioned after addressing a convention on anti-Semitism

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TORONTO — Canadian extremists preventing in Syria ought to be seen as safety dangers once they come house however there’s little the federal government can do to forestall them from leaving, Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney mentioned in an interview Sunday.

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“On the finish of the day, if it’s a Canadian who’s been radicalized and so they select to go away this nation, there’s nothing we will do to cease them,” he mentioned. “You may’t have police standing on the airport detaining them as they search to go away the nation.

“What we will do is to attempt to monitor networks that recruit and radicalize youth,” he mentioned. “They will’t catch each single occasion however I feel that the extremist networks know that there’s a particularly excessive degree of vigilance in Canada.”

The minister spoke to the Nationwide Publish after addressing a Toronto convention on anti-Semitism — which occurred two weeks after a French jihadist who fought in Syria opened fireplace in a Jewish museum in Belgium, heightening considerations concerning the risk posed by Western extremists in Syria.

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“I feel it’s a legit concern, not simply with respect to anti-Semitism however violent extremism generally,” Mr. Kenney mentioned. “Clearly, Westerners who’ve been radicalized to the purpose of risking their lives in preventing for, for instance, Al-Qaeda-linked militants, represent a prima facie safety danger once they get again to their house international locations.”

Three died and a fourth was left mind useless following the Might 24 museum assault allegedly carried out by Mehdi Nemmouche, a French-Algerian who spent a 12 months preventing with extremists in Syria. Authorities misplaced observe of him after he returned.

The assault has led to debate over the 1000’s of Western residents who’ve left their house international locations to combat with armed Islamist teams in Syria, and the long-term risk of terrorism they might pose to the West. About 30 are Canadians.

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AP Photo/Belgian Federal Police
AP Photograph/Belgian Federal Police

Eighty ex-jihadists are actually dwelling in Canada, however the Canadian Safety Intelligence Service declined to reveal what number of of these had been veterans of the Syrian battle.

“We aren’t ready to discuss particular numbers with reference to so-called overseas fighters – partially as a result of it is a shifting goal,” mentioned Tahara Mufti, the CSIS spokeswoman.

However she known as Syria the “vacation spot of selection for radicalized Westerners” and mentioned an company precedence was “the spectre of Canadian fighters returning house from the Syrian battle — or from different extremist theatres — extra radicalized than once they left, and presumably additionally with operational abilities discovered from terrorist trainers.

“We’ve got taken discover of the reviews out of Europe suggesting {that a} French returnee from Syria is likely to be related to a latest terrorist assault in Brussels, which can be an instance of such a risk coming to fruition,” she added.

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The RCMP has been working a program that tracks “high-risk travellers” and tries to forestall them from going overseas by denying them passports or making use of no-fly lists and arrests.

Trying to go away Canada for the needs of becoming a member of a terrorist group is unlawful however authorities haven’t but laid any legal prices in relation to the Syrian battle, suggesting police are struggling to establish and disrupt would-be jihadists earlier than they depart the nation.

A report launched final week by The Soufan Group known as the Syrian struggle “an incubator for a brand new era of terrorists.” Whereas nearly all of the 12,000 overseas fighters might pose no risk, distinguishing them from these intent on staging assaults within the West was a significant problem, it mentioned.

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“This will probably be a scourge of Western society,” mentioned Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s European workplace in Paris. He was a panelist at Sunday’s anti-Semitism convention organized by the Associates of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Research.

Mr. Samuels mentioned there was a direct correlation between occasions within the Center East and waves of anti-Semitic violence in Europe. Whereas Jews had been typically focused first, such killings tended to foreshadow broader campaigns of terrorism, he mentioned.

In France, the assaults dated again to 1980, he mentioned, when a Paris synagogue was bombed, killing 4 and injuring dozens extra. That day, Mr. Samuels was procuring with a good friend. Shortly after they separated, the bomb went off and he or she was killed.

In 2008, Hassan Diab, a College of Ottawa professor, was charged by French authorities over his alleged position within the assault. The Ontario Courtroom of Attraction upheld his extradition in Might however Mr. Diab has taken the matter to the Supreme Courtroom.

“We’re working … to see that it’s made completely clear to the Canadian authorities that this has gone on too lengthy and it’s a mockery of regulation,” Mr. Samuels mentioned in an interview. “This man has to face the bar of justice.”

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