“Filled with hate.” From AP, with thanks to Mike:
TORONTO – Police said Monday more arrests are likely in an alleged plot to bomb buildings in Canada, while intelligence officers sought ties between the 17 suspects and Islamic terror cells in the United States and five other nations.
A court said authorities had charged all 12 adults arrested over the weekend with participating in a terrorist group. Other charges included importing weapons and planning a bombing. The charges against five minors were not made public.
The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, is believed to be among targets the group discussed. Toronto Mayor David Miller said CN Tower, a downtown landmark, and the city’s subway were not targets as had been the speculated in local media, but declined to identify sites that were.
A Muslim prayer leader who knew the oldest suspect, 43-year-old Qayyum Abdul Jamal, told The Associated Press on Monday that Jamal’s sermons at a storefront mosque were “filled with hate” against Canada.
Why was he allowed to continue to preach once this became known, if the others there really disapproved?
Authorities said more arrests were expected, possibly this week, as police pursue leads about a group that they say was inspired by the violent ideology of the al-Qaida terror network….
A U.S. law enforcement official said investigators were looking for connections between those detained in Canada and suspected Islamic militants held in the United States, Britain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Denmark and Sweden.
American authorities have established that two men from Georgia who were charged this year in a terrorism case had been in contact with some of the Canadian suspects via computer, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
Prosecutors have said the Georgia men, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, traveled to Washington to shoot “casing videos” of the Capitol and other potential targets.
Sadequee, 19, a U.S. citizen who grew up near Atlanta, is accused of lying to federal authorities during an FBI terrorism investigation. Ahmed, 21, a Georgia Tech student, faces a charge he provided material support and resources for terrorism….
A U.S. counterterrorism official said the 17 suspects in Canada are an example of a type of group that authorities have been concerned about for some time: self-organized, ad hoc cells of homegrown extremists, a development first seen in Britain….
Some people who know the suspects said they were astonished by the arrests.
But Faheem Bukhari, a director of the Mississauga Muslim Community Center, said Jamal, the oldest suspect, had taken to giving hateful sermons and preaching intolerance to young Muslims at a small storefront mosque in Mississauga, a city near Toronto where six of the suspects lived.
“These youth were very fun-loving guys, soccer-loving guys, and then all of sudden they were not associating with guys they used to,” Bukhari told AP, referring to some of the younger suspects.
He said Jamal once told “the audience that the Canadian Forces were going to Afghanistan to rape women.”
Canada has about 2,300 soldiers in southern Afghanistan to bolster Afghan reconstruction and combat Taliban militants.
Bukhari’s description contrasted with the view of another prayer leader at the mosque, who said while Jamal was “aggressive” in his sermons but never promoted hatred or violence.
“I will say that they were steadfast, religious people. There’s no doubt about it. But here we always preach peace and moderation,” Qamrul Khanson said Sunday.