Free Press Journal

Canada authorities thwart ‘potential terrorist attack’


Ottawa: Canadian federal police said they arrested a suspect who posed a “potential terrorist threat,” after receiving a tip about an imminent attack.

Authorities had received “credible information of a potential terrorist threat,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement yesterday. A suspect was arrested “to ensure that there is no danger to the public’s safety,” the RCMP said, adding that it takes “all such threats seriously.”

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The investigation is still underway as the matter “continues to unfold,” and no other details from officials were immediately available.

Broadcaster CTV, citing internal government documents, however, said the suspect was linked to the Islamic State group and planned to set off an explosive device in a packed public space in a major city.

Canada was the target of two separate lone wolf attacks in October 2014 in Quebec and Ottawa that resulted in the death of two soldiers.

In Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Montreal, a young man drove his car into two soldiers in a parking lot, killing one of them before being shot dead by police after a short chase.

Two days later on October 22, an attacker gunned down a ceremonial military guard and stormed parliament before being killed by security guards only meters (yards) from a room where the prime minister and his caucus were meeting.

Following these attacks, the Conservative government passed a bill giving the RCMP and Canada’s spy agency sweeping powers to thwart terror plots and prevent Canadian youth from flying overseas to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

Canada joined the US-led coalition against IS in September 2014.

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After his Liberals unseated the Tories in a general election last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scaled back Canada’s participation in the coalition, ordering the withdrawal of Canadian fighter jets but increasing the number of military trainers in Iraq.

On several occasions, Trudeau has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to “fight terrorism in all its forms” and work closely with allies.