Monday, June 05, 2006

Canadian Terror Probe Expands to 7 Nations.

Sermons were "filled with hate" against Canada.

Police said Monday more arrests are likely in an alleged plot to bomb buildings in Canada, while intelligence officers sought ties between the 17 suspects and Islamic terror cells in the United States and five other nations.
A court said authorities had charged all 12 adults arrested over the weekend with participating in a terrorist group. Other charges included importing weapons and planning a bombing. The charges against five minors were not made public.
The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, is believed to be among targets the group discussed. Toronto Mayor David Miller said CN Tower, a downtown landmark, and the city's subway were not targets as had been the speculated in local media, but declined to identify sites that were.
A Muslim prayer leader who knew the oldest suspect, 43-year-old Qayyum Abdul Jamal, told The Associated Press on Monday that Jamal's sermons at a storefront mosque were "filled with hate" against Canada.
Authorities said more arrests were expected, possibly this week, as police pursue leads about a group that they say was inspired by the violent ideology of the al-Qaida terror network.
"We've by no means finished this investigation," Mike McDonell, deputy commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told AP. "In fact, you might look at it that, really, we're just starting with the arrests. We have a responsibility to follow every lead."
Although both Canadian and U.S. officials said over the weekend there was no indication the purported terror group had targets outside Ontario, McDonell told AP on Monday that there are "foreign connections," but he would not elaborate.
A U.S. law enforcement official said investigators were looking for connections between those detained in Canada and suspected Islamic militants held in the United States, Britain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Denmark and Sweden.
American authorities have established that two men from Georgia who were charged this year in a terrorism case had been in contact with some of the Canadian suspects via computer, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
Prosecutors have said the Georgia men, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, traveled to Washington to shoot "casing videos" of the Capitol and other potential targets.
Sadequee, 19, a U.S. citizen who grew up near Atlanta, is accused of lying to federal authorities during an FBI terrorism investigation. Ahmed, 21, a Georgia Tech student, faces a charge he provided material support and resources for terrorism.
In Atlanta, Ahmed's lawyer, Jack Martin, told AP there may have been some connection between his client and the suspects, but he insisted it wasn't part of any terrorism plot.
"Other than having the possibility that they may have met at some point, I know of no indication that anyone believes my client had anything to do with what these guys were up to," Martin said.
A U.S. counterterrorism official said the 17 suspects in Canada are an example of a type of group that authorities have been concerned about for some time: self-organized, ad hoc cells of homegrown extremists, a development first seen in Britain.
The official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Canada's government rightfully considered the 17 a serious threat because there was evidence the group was far along in planning attacks.


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