Toronto, Jan 17 (IANS) Canadian authorities are worried after reports that a dozen Canadian converts to Islam are getting trained for jihad at an Al Qaeda camp in Pakistan.
Barring the so-called Toronto-18 terror plot which was foiled in June 2006, Canada has not faced any threat from jihadists for its participation in the US-led war in Afghanistan.
But now Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online has reported that a dozen Canadian converts are among the jihadists getting training in an Al Qaeda camp near the Pakistan-Afghan border to mount Mumbai-like attacks in Canada.
Quoting 'well-placed Taliban sources', the report says that Al Qaeda's aim is to use Western extremists for an attack on the Canadian soil.
The report says all the 12 Canadians travelled to Afghanistan in February 2010 where they joined the Egyptian militant outfit Jihad al-Islami. In November, they were taken to Darpakhel in Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan border area for weapons training.
'In Afghanistan they received basic jihadi training, while currently they are busy doing some special courses. Their main learning is how to use sophisticated weapons, and how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America,' the report quoted Arif Wazir, a local militant of Darpakhel in North Waziristan, as saying.
'They are also learning how to use ordinary materials like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives. These militants will then return to their country to execute Al Qaeda's plan of targeting big cities in Canada,' the militant said.
Canadian authorities said they were assessing the report for its 'credibility and reliability' and would take necessary action.
The report names some of the Canadians undergoing training as Jean Paull (local name Sadiq Ullah), Leman Langlois (Sana Ullah), James Richard (Abdur Rehman), Otto Paul (Abu Usman), Thomas (Abdullah) and Paul Gall (Hafiz Ullah).
The report said Americans, Britons and Germans are also getting training at the camp for attacks in Western countries.
Canada is one of the few allied nations which have remained free from a terror attack, barring the aborted Toronto-18 terror attack in 2006. In that plot, all the 18 Muslim youths were arrested before they could go ahead with their plan to blow up major Canadian installations and storm the nation's parliament to take top leaders hostage.
Dozen Canadians training for jihad in Pakistani terror camp - Yahoo! News (external - login to view)