Muslim extremists are the “leading threat to Canada’s national security,” warned Ottawa’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, but the country's mainstream media whitewashed his report.
He presented a 36-page report entitled "“Building Resilience Against Terrorism,” led off by pinpointing Islamist extremism in general and “’homegrown’ Sunni Islamist extremists” in particular as having “identified Canada as a legitimate target or [having] directly threatened our interests.”
He said that “recurring instances of violence linked to Sunni Islamist extremism have punctuated the development of the terrorist threat since at least the 1970s….Despite having been under intense pressure for the past decade, foreign-based Sunni Islam…extremist groups have explicitly identified Canada as a legitimate target for attacks or have taken actions that threaten Canada’s international interests."
"Al Qaeda, led by Ayman al Zawahiri since the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, remains at the forefront of Sunni Islamist extremism and continues to serve as an ideology and inspiration for potential terrorists worldwide.”
Toews pointed out that terrorist threats also come from other groups as well and are not confined only to Muslim extremists. While citing Hizbullah and other terrorist groups as posing a threat, he added, “Other nationalist, politico-religious, or multi-issue groups continue to employ terrorist tactics in support of their aims… The threat to Canada from terrorism has three main components: violent Sunni Islamist extremism – both at home and abroad, other international terrorist groups, and domestic, issue-based extremism.”
Canada’s mainstream media almost completely ignored the Sunni Muslim threat in their reports on Toews’ presentation.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company told its readers and listeners that “Canadian agencies will co-ordinate better to prevent terrorism under a new strategy.” It quoted him as saying that “no government can guarantee it will be able to prevent all terrorist attacks all the time” but that “Canada is committed to taking all reasonable measures to address terrorism in its many forms."
The CBC report made no mention of Muslim terrorist threats.
The Canadian Press, the major syndicated national news services in Canada, reported that while Toews said the counterterrorist strategy is aimed at “foiling everything from Islamic terrorist threats to ‘lone wolf’ attackers,” but otherwise emphasized that he said, "Terrorism is not specific to any one religion, community or ethnic group.”
Toews' report specifically focused on Sunni Muslim extremists. He stated that while “Al Qaeda affiliates may pose a threat of terrorist attacks from abroad, violent ‘homegrown' Sunni Islamist extremists are posing a threat of violence within Canada.…"
“A number of individual extremists from Western countries have attempted terrorist attacks, inspired by but not directly connected to Sunni Islamist extremists abroad. In 2006, 18 individuals were arrested in Ontario for participating in a terrorist group whose intent was to bomb a number of symbolic Canadian institutions.
“Radicalized Canadians have also travelled to global hot spots like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, training or fighting with Sunni Islamist extremist groups. These individuals could participate in terrorism abroad, return to Canada and push others to violence, or return to Canada to carry out terrorist activities on Canadian soil.”