Reuters reports Canada is tracking more than 200 people linked to al Qaeda and other organizations considered to be terrorist, the head of the nation’s spy service said in a rare public appearance on Tuesday.
Richard Fadden, head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), also said he was particularly concerned by radicalized youths, whose families may have been in Canada for several generations, but who have become disenchanted with Canadian society.
“Confronting the threat from al Qaeda, its affiliates and its adherents remains our number one priority,” he told a parliamentary committee.
“As of this month CSIS is investigating over 200 individuals in this country whose activities meet the (official) definition of terrorism.”
As an indication of the potential threat to Canada, Fadden also mentioned the so-called Toronto 18, a group of mainly young men who were accused of plotting al Qaeda-inspired attacks on Canadian landmarks.
He said the Toronto 18 were an example of “second or third generation Canadians, who in some ways are relatively well integrated” but who had become “appallingly disenchanted with the way we want to structure our society.”
He added: “There are a number of such groups that we are investigating.”
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