“‘Look at this man and how Islam has reached Canada,’ ringleader Mohamed Lamine Bencheneb boasted to the hostages during the siege.” Indeed, look at how Islam has reached Canada. Xristos Katsiroubas was a convert to Islam. If Islam is really the Religion of Peace that we must believe it is on pain of charges of “Islamophobia,” how did Katsiroubas fall in with violent jihadists? Why wasn’t any effort made to instruct him in peaceful Islam? Why do authorities never notice that no mosques or Islamic organizations anywhere in the U.S. or Canada have any program in place to prevent converts to Islam from getting the idea that Allah wants them to murder Infidels?
“Canadians among suspected terrorists in Algeria gas plant siege were Ontario school friends: report,” by Tristin Hopper in the National Post, April 1 (thanks to Karl):
Two Canadians suspected of participating in an al-Qaeda-linked attack at an Algerian gas plant have been identified as former high school friends from London, Ont.
Xristos Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, who were in their early 20s, both attended London South Secondary, CBC”s The National reported on Monday night.
The pair had also travelled overseas with at least two former classmates, the report said.
Although they both had relatively normal Canadian beginnings, friends quoted in the story say that Mr. Katsiroubas became more distant in later years after converting to Islam.
The RCMP and the Department of Foreign Affairs refused to confirm the CBC report.
“Since our last update, on remains of a second Canadian being identified, our investigation into this matter continues and no further information will be given at this time,” Sgt. Greg Cox said in an email.
The CBC reported that agents with Canada’s spy agency, CSIS, interviewed family and friends of the two as far back as 2007, but the pair had not recently been under surveillance.
On Jan. 16, about three dozen armed Islamists led by al-Qaeda-linked Mokhtar Belmokhtar stormed the Amenas plant and held hundreds of workers hostage for four days.
All but three of the attackers were eventually killed in an Algerian military raid.
More than three dozen workers died in the attack, either by execution, by crossfire of the raid or by being tied to gas piping, where they were left to be incinerated by a massive bomb blast ignited by the terrorists.
Sources quoted by the CBC say it is likely Mr. Katsiroubas and Mr. Medlej killed themselves in the blast. Many of the attackers were said to be wearing suicide vests.
On Jan. 21, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal first revealed that two Canadians had taken part in the four-day-siege, with one of them helping to coordinate the assault, which was launched from Libya.
“Look at this man and how Islam has reached Canada,” ringleader Mohamed Lamine Bencheneb boasted to the hostages during the siege, according to a plant employee quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
Le Monde reported a Canadian of Chechen origin was involved. There were also reports that Canadian documents were found on the bodies of two attackers.
Canada initially denied the claims, but dispatched RCMP investigators to Algeria to verify the allegations. In March, Mounties announced they had found “Canadian human remains” at the scene….