“We are seeing more and more Canadians being radicalized and deciding to support the (Islamist) cause through violence,” said Gilles Michaud, the RCMP Assistant Commissioner in charge of the force’s national security criminal investigations. “It is a growing trend that we are very concerned about.” Up until recently, officials believed terror threats would come exclusively from outside Canada and efforts were made to beef up the borders, Michaud said.
“Now, what we are seeing is that threat is growing from inside and is going elsewhere,” he said. “It’s like we are exporters of terrorism to a certain extent.” Michaud’s comments come as the Al-Qaida-linked and Somali-based Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for co-ordinated bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital of Kampala that killed 76 people Sunday.
Senior White House administration officials said Tuesday the bombing was Al-Shabaab’s first terrorist act outside Somalia’s borders. Although they believe Uganda was targeted because of its support for Somalia’s transitional government, other countries, including Western states, could also be attacked by the “exceptionally violent” group, they said.
In Canada, at least six young Somali-Canadian men from the Toronto-area are believed to have joined Al-Shabaab. One is presumed to have died overseas.