Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Canada

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Canada, 18 August 2011, available at: [accessed 20 October 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Canada remained one of the United States' closest counterterrorism partners. Testifying before a Parliamentary committee on May 11, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Director Richard Fadden said, "confronting the threat from al-Qa'ida, its affiliates, and its adherents" remained the "number one priority" of his organization. Canada continued to face threats to both Canadian interests abroad and domestically.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Canadian government introduced several counterterrorism-related bills in 2010, all of which were still under consideration at year's end:

  • Bill C-17, Combating Terrorism Act, provides for investigative hearings and bail with conditions.

  • Bill C-42, Strengthening Aviation Security Act, provides legal authority for Canadian officials to share information with the United States for the purposes of the Secure Flight program.

  • Bill C-53, Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act, aims to improve criminal procedure to cut the number of long, drawn-out trials, according to the government.

  • Bill S-7, An Act to deter Terrorism and Amend the State Immunity Act, will allow terrorism victims to sue terrorists and terrorist entities for loss or damage suffered as a result of their acts. It will also allow victims of terrorism, in certain circumstances, to sue foreign states that have supported terrorist entities, which have committed such acts.

  • On October 26, the government reintroduced legislation (S-13) to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations ("Shiprider") between the Canada and the United States. The agreement will allow the exchange of cross-designated officers (ship riders) to create seamless maritime law enforcement operations across the U.S.-Canadian maritime border.

  • On December 15, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Suicide Bombings) (S-215) became law. The bill clarifies that suicide bombings fall within the definition of "terrorist activity" in the Criminal Code.

On June 16, Commissioner John Major delivered the final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the 1095 Bombing of Air India Flight 182[1]. In its response to the report, the government said, "The Commission identified numerous mistakes that were committed around the time of the bombing, including as regards the treatment of the victims' families." The government pledged to "recognize these shortcomings and work consistently to prevent another such tragedy." The government introduced an action plan for implementing the recommendations of the Major Commission. The plan builds on legislative initiatives already in progress in Parliament.

On August 25 and 26, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers arrested three individuals in Ottawa in relation to an alleged terrorist plot. Federal prosecutors charged Misbahuddin Ahmed, Hiva Alizadeh, and Dr. Khurram Sher with conspiracy to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity, probably in Canada. RCMP seized over 50 circuit boards that could be used for remote-controlled triggers for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as schematics, videos, drawings, instructions, books and electrical components designed specifically for the construction of IEDs. Prosecutors laid further charges against Ahmed and Alizadeh for possessing an explosive substance with intent to harm, and Alizadeh faces a charge of providing property or financial services for the benefit of a terrorist group. In September, Ahmed was released pending trial and Alizadeh remained detained.

On August 30, a Federal Court judge granted Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Montreal man who was stranded in Sudan for six years, permission to continue his suit against the federal government and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. In 2009, a federal court judge ruled the Canadian government violated Abdelrazik's rights by refusing to allow him to return home because of travel ban provisions relating to his listing at the UN's 1267 Committee. The government expressed disagreement with the ruling but did not appeal, bringing Abdelrazik back to Canada in June 2009.

Canadian prosecutors secured a number of convictions in terrorism cases in 2010:

  • On May 14, Prapaharan Thambithurai, the first person convicted under Canada's anti-terrorism law for knowingly raising money to benefit a terrorist group, pled guilty in a Vancouver, BC court to raising money for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The judge imposed a six-month sentence on Thaambithurai, who was arrested in 2008 and subsequently admitted to raising $600 and collecting pledges for another $2,000 from local Sri Lankans.

  • On December 7, an Ontario provincial judge sentenced Roger Clement, a retired federal civil servant, to three-and-a-half years in prison for firebombing an Ottawa bank.

  • On December 9, the Federal Court of Canada upheld an immigration security certificate against alleged al-Qa'ida terrorist Mohamed Harkat. Justice Simon Noel ruled that the government had reasonable grounds to believe that Harkat constituted a threat to national security and deemed him inadmissible under Canada's immigration law. Pending deportation, authorities may continue to monitor Harkat, who has claimed that he faces a risk of torture if deported to his native Algeria.

  • In a separate ruling, the federal court upheld the constitutionality of the revised security certificate process implemented in 2008. Two other security certificates remained in place against alleged terrorist suspects Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub.

  • In a separate ruling on December 17, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Piratheepan Nadarajah and Suresh Sriskandarajah regarding their extradition order to the United States to stand trial on charges of offering to purchase surface to air missiles and other weaponry in the United States for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

  • During 2010, of the 18 individuals originally charged in the 2006 Toronto 18 case, seven pled guilty, and courts found four others guilty. In December, the courts increased the severity of the sentences against two of the convicted adult Toronto 18 individuals to send a strong message about the gravity of the offences. (The Toronto 18 planned to bomb several Canadian targets, including Parliament Hill, RCMP headquarters, and nuclear power plants.)

Countering Terrorist Finance: Canada is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), and is a supporting nation of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF); both APG and CFATF are FATF-style regional bodies. Canada is also an observer in the Council of Europe's Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation Of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (MONEYVAL).

The Government of Canada designated suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list. The Anti-Terrorism Act provides measures for the Government of Canada to create a list of entities. Listed entity's property can be the subject of seizure, forfeiture, or both. In addition, financial institutions such as banks and brokerages are subject to reporting requirements with respect to an entity's property and must not allow those entities to access the property nor may these institutions deal or otherwise dispose of the property. Canada recently completed a two-year review of the 42 entities on its domestic terrorist list and all 42 remained on the list. In 2010, Canada domestically listed al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Shabaab.

Regional and International Cooperation: Canada has been an important partner with the United States in the UN and other multilateral counterterrorism efforts. Canada and the United States cooperate bilaterally through the Cross Border Crime Forum sub-group on counterterrorism and the Bilateral Consultative Group on Counterterrorism.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Canadian officials spoke out frequently on the need for all Canadians to remain engaged and vigilant in the fight against violent extremism in Canada. The government worked with non-governmental partners and concerned Canadian communities to deter violent extremism through preventative programming and community outreach. The RCMP's National Security Community Outreach program promoted interaction and relationship-building with communities at risk. The Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security fostered dialogue on national security issues between the government and community leaders.

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