In May of 2006, 18 (mostly young) Muslim men were arrested in Toronto on charges of plotting to storm Parliament, behead the Prime Minister(!) and purchase 3 tonnes of fertiliser to be used in Ammonium Nitrate bombs to destroy govt. buildings around Ontario.
The timing of these arrests was highly suspect. Parliament was debating Canada's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. The intelligence services were under fire for their collusion in handing over an innocent Syrian-Canadian engineer Maher Arar, for torture in a Syrian jail because of alleged "terrorism". The Supreme Court was about to rule on the constitutionality of the secret 'evidence' used to deport Muslim refugees to countries where they too, might be expected to be tortured. The RCMP, soon to be investigated for fraud, had just manipulated an election by revealing they were investigating a minister of the reigning Liberal govt. (No charges were filed) A government that wanted to keep troops in Afghanistan now had reason to celebrate: "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" (but we still have home-grown 'terrorists')
I knew that the case was full of holes; this view confirmed by the unravelling of the case as charges against 7 (including the alleged 'ringleader') have now been withdrawn, and govt. lawyers trying to defend the indefensible of subjecting innocent (and I say this without doubt) people to secret trials, indefinite detention, solitary confinement, and the abuse of their families for the sake of a war for the benefit for a few.
The entire case is now falling apart, not just because the unreliability of the government's star witnesses has now been exposed in the national media as druggies, failed businessmen demanding $15 million (!) for their 'testimony' and publicity hounds. I blame also the politicians who were so quick to declare them and an entire religion guilty and 'community' leaders who abandoned the families of the Toronto 18 because of fear of association with what is now OK to demonise: angry young Muslim males. Above all, I say that an unjust, corrupted, system of justice reflects badly on Canada, and what Canadian 'values' are supposed to be about. And I say, this "War on Terror" is a lie.
I've been involved in this case for two years now, first by speaking up on their behalf in various forums, then, learning more about the background, from a person called Salman Hossain. I met Salman at this website: http://www.xymphora.blogspot.com/ . Xymphora is supposed to be a Canadian leftie with controversial views; I appreciate the cut and thrust of intelligent debate and humour there, even if the site seems to attract people who umm, Don't Like Jews. But that isn't what I'm writing about today.
OK, my background (see 'A Conspirological State of Mind' http://manfromatlan.blogspot.com/2008/03/conspirological-state-of-mind.html) makes me more likely to believe the preposition that governments and the media lie; they're irredeemably corrupt anyway. But because I certainly don't want to become paranoid, I'd like to see something, maybe not proof, because conspiracies by their very nature provide scant 'proof' but let's say, inconsistencies, impossibilities, and improbabilities. Plus, the false evidence.
A group of young Muslims mouthing off on the Internet about Canada's involvement in the Afghan war. Giving a Muslim MP heck when he starts politicking in a mosque. Said MP, Wajid Khan, rats off the Muslim brothers as 'extremists' to CSIS, which sets out to entrap them. CSIS approaches Muslims to inform on the group. An Egyptian Muslim, in financial trouble from failed business dealings, promises to provide information about a bombing plot for $15 million in compensation. (He eventually gets $4 million) Another informer, a confessed drug user, takes the young men camping, then manufactures, in whole cloth, a story about 'Jihadi training camps', guns and plots to blow up Parliament. The first informant, an agricultural engineer, sets off to but does not actually buy the ingredients of the bomb, Ammonium Nitrate, which is regular garden fertiliser.
Look up the Oklahoma City Bombing. Explosive experts have concluded an Ammonium Nitrate Fertiliser Bomb couldn't have destroyed the building the way the government said it happened. Simply doesn't have the required explosive power. Never mind, we're supposed to automatically think about 'White Supremacists' and Oklahoma City. And now, we're supposed to automatically think 'Muslim terrorist'.
So I spoke up. Malcolm X once said, whenever one of the brothers started talking about killing Whitey they always knew it was a police informant talking. The same thing happened with these young men. So here we are on this blog, talking about it, when along comes Salman Hossain, a young student, giving the inside scoop, so to speak, of his friendship with Fahim Ahmed, one of the alleged plotters. See http://www.haloscan.com/comments/andy8/115001268715389261/ for an example of the numerous comments we made on the subject for a year and a half.
At first I thought he was an informant too, but it turned out he was genuine. I warned him a few times because of his inflammatory comments, that he might even be charged with treason, but, really, I also admired and defended his freedom of speech, even when others called for him to be expelled from the blog. I suppose if one of my friends was being held in solitary confinement and not allowed to defend himself I might be a little angry myself.
Then, he outdid himself by saying that if Canadian troops could go over to Afghanistan to kill Muslims, the Taliban could rightly come over and kill Canadian soldiers here. This opened an absolute shit storm of fury as most everyone sought to distance himself from Salman. I thought it was brilliantly subversive, and for an interesting period of time, we had a real debate about the limits of freedom of speech in Canada on those pages.
It came to an end of course, when the National Post, Canada's neo-con newspaper, pushed for an RCMP probe of his writings http://www.nationalpost.com/most_popular/story.html?id=272528 Coincidentally, this was at a time when a Jewish writer, Ezra Levant, was being prosecuted for his anti-Muslim writings. Of course the usual suspects called for Salman to be tried for treason, expelled from University, etc.
Salman called me for advice before the article came out. Should he speak to the Post reporter? Not unless he had a lawyer present, I said. He was expressing an opinion, not instigating violence, but the Post would twist everything. And if he needed to present his side, I'd connect him with my media friends. And, lie low, stop posting (I think his mother took away his computer :)
Individual terrorism, directed at civilians, is wrong. But when it is instigated by intelligence agencies I think we need to look at the inconsistencies. The RCMP has a long history of using informants to infiltrate communists, 'white nationalists' and now Muslims, then having their own informants commit crimes to discredit the larger group. In the 70's RCMP informants set off bombs in post boxes around Quebec to discredit the Quebec separatist movement. That a few immature hot heads can be trusted to make hot headed comments is always a given, but the fact that the various terrors of the 21st century were all conducted by various intelligence agencies are also, a given. One of the ways of proving that would be to look at the explosives used to commit those crimes. Sorry, the World Trade Towers were brought down by explosives. The official story is an impossible lie. The Tube bombings in London were conducted with military, not home-made explosives which simply could not have had the power required to do the damage they did. The chief 'planner' of that, Haroon Aswat, turned out to be an MI-6 asset. The Bali, Madrid and even Tel Aviv bombings all had similar inconsistencies.
But anyway, the Real Terror is not what might happen the next time some intelligence agency decides to frighten the population in order to defend unpopular policies and protect the war-based economies of the West. It is the terror visited upon the people of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan by the mechanised slaughterhouses of the industrial world, the Genocide and Wars conducted on the resource rich poorer countries.
The "War on Terror" is a lie. The war against Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and the Muslim world is a lie. It serves the arms manufacturers and the rulers of the world. It serves the oil companies whose profits and values of their reserves go up. It helps the money lenders and promoters of war. It serves to transfer your money out of your pockets and into the hands of a few.
If you want to spend a Trillion dollars on an unwinnable 'war' that will go on forever, be my guest. But two years ago 18 young men were arrested on false charges and their and their families lives shattered forever. If that injustice doesn't anger you, then you deserve the world you get.
Update, June 21, 2008:
At trial, the Crown now finds itself in the position of having to discredit their own witness, Mubin Sheikh, the cocaine addict who admits he's already spent most of the $370, 000 he's received so far from them on, umm, cocaine. He's already blown away their case against everyone else.
Transcripts from the first trial show the arrested youth was totally unaware of the so-called bomb plot, which only was introduced AFTER the two informants joined the group.
There were other characters, a bank fraud artist and a petty criminal, who first brought up fertiliser bombs. They were interviewed but not charged, nor were they called as witnesses, as they clearly were coerced into implicating the 18. Their criminal records would make them too ripe even for that court room.
For further details, see http://www.toronto18.com/
Few remember that in 2000 23 Muslims were arrested in Toronto for 'acting strangely' and 20 more, in 2003. They were all found innocent and charges thrown out. Now that the current case is already in a shambles, new reports are coming out about 'reactivated Hezbollah cells' planning to attack the Israeli consulate with bombs. They must think people really are stupid.
I believe the Toronto 18 will eventually receive justice. I can hardly wait for the other government informant to show up in court; he's even more of a weak link than Mubin Sheikh. In the mean time, I pray for them and their families.