Profiles of two of the Canadian jihadists: “After escaping war in Somalia, terror suspects grew up in Toronto,” from the National Post (thanks to Joaquim). We hear, unsurprisingly, that both were devout Muslims, although we’re assured that one of them was not “that kind.” But a devout attachment to Islam runs like a green thread through every story of every jihad terrorist who has ever been profiled — and yet it remains the first thing that investigators and analysts discount, because we all know that this is a tiny minority of extremists that has hijacked the religion of peace.
Well, it is long past time to reexamine that assumption.
TORONTO — They came to Canada as children when their homeland Somalia fell into war and chaos. They now stand accused of taking part in a terrorist plot against the country that gave them refuge.
Two of the 17 Toronto men charged with terrorism-related offences over the weekend, Yasin Abdi Mohamed, 24, and Ali Mohamed Dirie, 22, are Somali refugees who came to Canada with their families in the early 1990s….
“Yasin (is) very religious. Every day he prays,” his mother, Asha Muhayadin, said, pointing to the holy book she said her son read every morning.
Mohamed would admonish his siblings for not praying more often, she recalled. “He told his brothers, `You wake up, you never say thanks to God. Are you animals?”‘
“My brother’s a broad-minded guy that had goals for his future,” Abdul said. He was never violent, he added. “He’s never stabbed, shot anybody. From that to plotting on killing people, that’s insane. It must be because of his last name.”
The Dirie family fled Somalia in the late 1980s after their city was levelled in an aerial bombardment.
Dirie was eight years old when he arrived in Toronto as a refugee. His father had been dragged out of the family home during the Somali civil war and killed.
In his own words, Dirie had a “bad temper” when he was young, and was often angry. He was in and out of various schools.
“When he was young, he was trouble,” said his younger brother Jafar, 18. But Ali was changing, he said.
“He was trying to become a better person spiritually,” Jafar said. “He was learning about the religion.” He began devoting more time to studying Islam and donned a white kameez and cap.
But Ali was not an extremist, his brother said. “No, he wasn’t that type.”
Mohamed’s mother, who knows Dirie, agreed, saying, “Ali, he didn’t believe like that.”