Saturday, June 03, 2006

Canadian Police Foil Possible Large Scale Terrorist Attacks

In raids conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the Toronto Area, 17 members of a suspected terrorist organization were arrested that apparently attempted to purchase as much as 3 tons of ammonium nitrate. The homemade ammonumium nitrate and fuel oil bomb that destroyed the Federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma back in 1995 was only a one ton bomb by comparison. This much material could have leveled or destroyed as many as three or four large buildings.

It appeared that this terrorist organization operated independently from Al Qaeda, but was angry at Western treatment of Muslims as a moltivational factor. In another action, British police were searching for a possible dirty bomb that some terrorists may have already assembled somewhere in London.

In the coming days much more will be known about this massive Toronto area raid or the possible dirty bomb in London . But it is always fortunate when police can save lives by preventing a bomb from going off. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure in such cases.

The only civil liberties concern at this point is that the Canadian arrests may foster an over-reaction for border security. In the near future, a passport will be required for Canadian citizens to cross the border as tourists or to shop in the U.S. And even tighter rules could result as a fear reaction. On the other hand, about a year ago, a Canadian dismemberment murderer crossed the border into the U.S. through a checkpoint with a bloody chainsaw, axes, large knives and T-shirt, and was only arrested while walking along a roadside in Massachusetts when a policeman on patrol noticed the bloody T-shirt. From way too lax to a possible over-reaction to overly tight border security is always a possible leap.


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