EDITORIAL: Domestic terrorism a reality for Canada

Suspect's link to Victoria hits home for local residents

Amid the celebrations and fireworks Monday, Victoria suddenly found itself joined to the rarefied club of Canadian cities targeted for a high-profile terrorist attack.

If the suspects had slipped under the radar and detonated pressure-cooker bombs outside the legislature during Canada Day celebrations, it could have been the worst terrorist attack in history on Canadian soil.

Instead, the B.C. RCMP were able to announce two arrests – John Nuttall, a Surrey man (and former Victoria resident) with a significant criminal rap sheet, and Amanda Korody, his partner. RCMP assert both of these Canadian born-and-raised suspects were “self-radicalized” by al-Qaida influence.

Nuttall has been in and out of Victoria’s courts regularly for assaults, robberies, mischief and possessing weapons. In media articles, he was described as a former drug addict and a violent enforcer when it came to collecting drug debts. He’s also described as a recent convert to Islam.

Whether this pair tried to copycat the pressure-cooker Boston bombings, were angry anti-government types, or were interested in promoting an Islamic caliphate in line with al-Qaida goals (or none of the above), the fact their alleged plot was identified, infiltrated and hijacked by RCMP agents is a testament to why Canada needs intelligence agencies.

Organizations like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which tipped off the provincial RCMP to the plot, and RCMP anti-terrorism departments, almost always operate behind the scenes to ferret out domestic terrorism.

It’s hard to know how many credible terror plots have been halted in Canada. Beyond oil pipeline bombings in the past, police and intelligence agencies have quashed an alleged plot to blow up a Via passenger train between Toronto and New York by two foreign men who supposedly received guidance from al-Qaida agents; and the so-called “Toronto 18,” (11 were convicted) a group of young Muslim men who plotted to blow up targets across southern Ontario with fertilizer bombs.

The foiled Victoria bombing can be seen as a wake-up call to Canadians that terrorism is a reality in this country, and as analysts have predicted, attacks on civilians are not an “if” but a “when.”

This is also an opportunity for a national conversation on the bounds of domestic surveillance – what will people tolerate to ensure agencies have the resources to keep Canadians safe?

Just Posted

Comox overdose awareness display blessed by the Pope

Judith Conway created the display in honour of her son and others who have died of overdoses

Six orcas seen off Point Holmes Saturday

A pod of orcas treated many onlookers to a show Saturday evening.… Continue reading

Fire breaks out at Courtenay hostel

Police arrest man who could be associated with rash of fires

BREAKING: Large structure fire at downtown Courtenay hostel

A fire in downtown Courtenay has engulfed the Cona Hostel at the… Continue reading

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Runners pound the pavement in Comox Valley RV half marathon

The Comox Valley RV half marathon began at 11 a.m. Saturday at… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Most Read