Brian Lilley: We’ve told you in the past about Canadians joining foreign struggles. We’re talking about the international jihad. Now international media are taking note, Israel National News putting out a report the other day saying on Thursday reports were released that a Canadian citizen described only as Abu Abd Al-Rahman was killed in March in the city of Aleppo. Al-Rahman is one of many Canadian and other foreign jihadists journeying to Syria to join the bloodbath. Do we need to be concerned that our international allies are taking note of the growing jihadi movement in Canada? Steven Emerson is with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, joins us now from our studies in Washington. Mr. Emerson, we’ve been taking note of this global trend. How worried should we be that Israel, the United States other allies might be noticing it as well?
Steve Emerson: Well in Canada with the dubious distinction of your Mayor of Toronto with his exception –
Lilley: [Laughs.] Yeah.
Emerson: – Canada is probably the highest contributor of expatriates. That is Canadian citizens, to jihadist movements around the world, with the exception of the United States. There probably are at least 100 Canadians of Islamic origin or converts that have volunteered for the jihad in Syria over the past two years. And the reason that there is concern is that these jihadists not only acquire training overseas and engage in jihad, but are liable, are likely to become radicalized even more than they have been in terms of going over there when they return back to Canada, as we’ve seen in dozens of terrorist plots that have occurred in the last decade in Canada. As a Canadian intelligence report that was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act recently revealed, there are more terrorists per capita in Canada, Islamic terrorists, than there are any place in the world, with the exception of the United States.
Lilley: See and that part is shocking me, given what I read about in terms of a ghettoization of British culture, in terms of certain areas of London being referred to as Londonstan and the radicalization going on there, I would have thought the U.K. would have been far away ahead of both Canada and the U.S. So this is shocking news, not only to me but lots of other Canadians.
Emerson: Well what’s interesting here, you raise an interesting point, because in London and in other parts of Europe, there really has been a radicalization of the communities to the point where there are no-go areas that are Muslim areas only. And there are Muslim patrols that actually attack anybody who is a Westerner or somebody who is dressed in Western attire. This is something a little bit different than in Canada or the United States where you don’t have the same concentration within the communal structure of the radicals, but you do have a radical cultural ideology that is basically, that is proliferating from community, community, and ends up resulting in either lone-wolf plots, that is Islamic terrorist plots that are not directed from without but come from within, or you end up having people volunteer for jihad overseas, which has been dominating, shouldn’t be dominating, but actually has been proliferating in the last decade, particularly in the last three or four years as new jihad fronts have opened up in Al-Shabaab, you know that’s in Africa -
Emerson: – in Somalia, that’s in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, even in other areas. Even in Europe you’ve seen Americans or North Americans, that is those with Canadian passports, volunteer to carry out plots with their European compatriots, which is a very troubling developing that only witnessed in the last three or four years.
Lilley: OK, so in Canada we have long had ministers, such as former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, say we don’t have to be as worried about radicalization as they do in places like Europe, whether it’s Germany or Britain, because we’ve had a more successful integration of disparate communities. Should we be buying that line or does the fact that we are such a large contributor to the jihad put that, make that stand out as a bald-faced lie?
Emerson: Well I wouldn’t say it’s a bald-faced lie. There has indeed been more successful integration coupled with the fact that there’s been less of a concentration of jihadist immigration to North America, including Canada and the United States than let’s say in London or let’s say in Belgium or in Germany or Italy, where almost every week there’s a jihadist plot that’s interrupted. But the corollary of this is that there really is a cultural jihad that has not diminished but rather spread in different communities in Canada, in Toronto, in Montreal, in Ottawa, as well as in different parts of the United States. And you’ve seen that in the increase in number of lone-wolf attacks, these are attacks by Islamists who basically decide they’re gonna carry out jihad in the United States or in Canada for the sake of jihad. And if you look at the numbers, the numbers have been increasing actually in the last one-half decade than decreasing. So I think, look, the bottom line is, to the extent that these plots are interdicted and stopped, you know people don’t feel the threat. As soon as one plot is successful, I can guarantee you, all the complacency in the world will stop immediately in Canada or the United States.
Lilley: Alright, Steve great talking to you as always. The Investigative Project on Terrorism. You can find out more from their website. We’ll chat again soon my friend.