“Imam: Canada Suspects Didn’t Seek Violence,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Several members of a suspected terrorist ring prayed daily at a storefront mosque in a middle-class city west of Toronto but never spoke of hurting others, one of their prayer leaders said.
“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, an imam at the one-room Al-Rahman Islamic Center for Islamic Education, said Sunday.
Here comes a Claude Rains Shocked! Shocked! Alert:
The 40-50 Muslim families who worship at the mosque were astonished, he said, to learn that police had arrested 12 adults, ages 19 to 43, and five suspects younger than 18 on Friday and Saturday, charging them with plotting an attack in southern Ontario. Two Americans who met with the suspects also are in custody.
The group had acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate _ three times the amount used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said assistant Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Mike McDonell. The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people and injured more than 800.
The fertilizer can be mixed with fuel oil or other ingredients to make a bomb….
The 17 suspects represent a spectrum of Canadian society, from the unemployed to a school bus driver to the college-educated. The 12 adults live in Toronto, Mississauga and Kingston, Ontario….
A spectrum this time, not broad strata. But still no mention of the salient point — that they were all Muslims. Why does that matter? Because it is likely that they were inspired by the jihad ideology.
“For various reasons, they appeared to have become adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida,” Luc Portelance, the assistant director of operations with CSIS _ Canada’s spy agency, said Saturday.
The oldest suspect, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, often led prayers at the storefront mosque.
Khanson said Jamal’s Friday night prayers were “more aggressive” than those of other prayer leaders, but there was no talk of hostility or terrorism….
Aggressive prayers? The prayers don’t vary, so apparently Jamal also gave the Friday sermon.
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said in Washington there may have been a connection between the Canadian suspects and a Georgia Tech student and another American who had traveled to Canada to meet with Islamic extremists to discuss locations for a terrorist strike.
Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, U.S. citizens who grew up in the Atlanta area, were arrested in March….
Khanson said at least three suspects regularly prayed at the Al-Rahman Islamic Center for Islamic Education.
“I have faith that they have done a thorough investigation,” Khanson said of authorities. “But just the possession of ammonium nitrate doesn’t prove that they have done anything wrong.
Yes, maybe they just needed it to spread more soothing Islam-Is-A-Religion-Of-Peace talk.
“We value our Canadian culture and we would never allow any links with the so-called Taliban or al-Qaida.”…
That’s not the same thing as saying we would never allow agitation for jihad and Sharia supremacism.
Muslim leaders were concerned that the highly publicized arrests would cause a backlash against their community. A mosque in northwest Toronto was vandalized overnight, with 25 windows and three doors smashed, police said.
Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, told the AP that he and other Muslim leaders were getting threatening e-mails.
“We hope Canadians will be more rational and consider the facts,” Elmasry said.
I hope so too. Vigilante violence and threats arise, of course, out of frustration — a sense that authorities aren’t doing what they should be doing, and cannot be counted on to meet a threat. Elmasry and all Canadian Muslims could help dispel these frustrations by renouncing Sharia and all jihad violence, and working with Canadian authorities to root jihadist sentiments out of the Canadian Muslim community.