'Inevitable' Canada will face ISIS-style terror plot at home: Former CSIS operative
OTTAWA — A former CSIS operative says it’s “inevitable” Canada will face a terror plot similar to the one thwarted Thursday in Australia, where authorities say a group of extremists planned to publicly behead a random person in Sydney.
It took more than 800 police officers to stop what’s being called the largest terror plot in Australia’s history, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott said included calls for “demonstration killings.” Police arrested 15 suspects.
“It could be a beheading, a surprise attack on random people, it could be many things, but you will see something like that happening here,” former CSIS security intelligence operative Mubin Shaikh told QMI Agency.
He said he believes the RCMP and CSIS are “doing the best they can” and cited several thwarted homegrown terror plots, including that of Ottawa’s Hiva Alizadeh, 33, who was sentenced this week to 24 years in prison for trying to organize attacks on Canadian targets.
Despite those successes, Shaikh said a quote from the Irish Republican Army when it was targeting then-British prime minister Margaret Thatcher highlights the problem.
“They said, ‘You have to be lucky every time; we have to be lucky once,’” Shaikh said.
Australia, like Canada, has been struggling with nationals who’ve been “self-radicalized” at home and chosen to go abroad to join groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) to fight as Islamists. There is growing concern about them bringing their jihad home.
The RCMP said it’s devising a “countering violent extremism program which consists of working with local law enforcement as well as domestic and international partners to prevent individuals from engaging in terrorist and other criminal activity.”
Liberal foreign affairs critic Marc Garneau said he’s “very concerned” about possible terror attacks in Canada.
“That’s one of the reasons we support sending special forces (to Iraq),” he said.