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  • al-Qaida members permitted to enter Canada

    Just announced on the news:

    Canada has given permission to an admitted al- Qaida member and family to come to Canada.

    Abdurahman Khadr has been lobbying the Canadian government to allow the rest of his family to enter Canada and to bring his 14 year-old brother Karim to Canada for medical treatment. Karim is in a Pakistani hospital after being wounded in the spine during a shootout with Pakistani security forces that also killed his father. The family has been closely associated with Osama Bin Laden and the mother has said that she is proud of her families association and hopes that all her boys would become martyrs.

    One other son, Omar remains at Guantanamo Bay after being captured by american forces. He stands accused of killing an American soldier.

    Last year, Abdurahman Khadr raised eyebrows with a story that he had been arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay on suspicions of being a terrorist. He said the Americans had then dumped him without documents back in Afghanistan.

    The Canadian government has denied them passports because they have repeatedly lost previous ones. They have also consistently refused offers to return to Canada on special travel documents.

    Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien pleaded for the father's release several years ago with Pakistani officials after he was jailed there for terrorist activities. The father returned to Canada and then took his family to Afghanistan to fight for Osama bin Laden.

    News Story

  • #2
    This is a topic very worthy of discussion.

    There's an important correction to your summary. You wrote:
    quote:
    Last year, Abdurahman Khadr raised eyebrows with a story that he had been arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay on suspicions of being a terrorist. He said the Americans had then dumped him without documents back in Afghanistan.
    Actually, Abdurahman Khadr was working apparently working as a U.S. undercover agent both at Guantanamo and then in Belgrade (after his release). One can then understand why his request for bringing family members to Canada might be granted.

    That said, his mother and the sister (already in Canada) were recently interviewed (on CBC) and are still very much pro-al Quaida. His sister said that she greatly admired the courage of the suicide bombers and that she did not have that courage yet. (That she used the word "yet" really bothers me.)

    While this particular case is complicated by the fact Abdurahman Khadr worked as U.S. agent, the question I would like to see discussed in this topic is what sort of immigration policy should we (Canada and the U.S.) have to exclude the immigration of ideological extremists. What wording would you suggest?

    Comment


    • #3
      quote:
      Originally posted by hm0504:
      [qb] This is a topic very worthy of discussion.

      There's an important correction to your summary. You wrote:
      quote:
      Last year, Abdurahman Khadr raised eyebrows with a story that he had been arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay on suspicions of being a terrorist. He said the Americans had then dumped him without documents back in Afghanistan.
      Actually, Abdurahman Khadr was working apparently working as a U.S. undercover agent both at Guantanamo and then in Belgrade (after his release). One can then understand why his request for bringing family members to Canada might be granted.

      You're right on his undercover role.
      Immigration was against his request for past few months... Apparently everytime Immigration gave them new passports, they "lost" them. My guess is that Immigration was suspicious that those lost passports were being given to other members of the organisation.

      quote:

      That said, his mother and the sister (already in Canada) were recently interviewed (on CBC) and are still very much pro-al Quaida. His sister said that she greatly admired the courage of the suicide bombers and that she did not have that courage yet. (That she used the word "yet" really bothers me.)
      Me too. What makes me wonder is that the story only broke this afternoon, just before their flight landed. Hmmmm... last minute release of the story, on a holdiday when most people are not paying attention to the news.... hmmmm.

      quote:

      While this particular case is complicated by the fact Abdurahman Khadr worked as U.S. agent, the question I would like to see discussed in this topic is what sort of immigration policy should we (Canada and the U.S.) have to exclude the immigration of ideological extremists. What wording would you suggest? [/qb]
      Offhand, I am not sure... We already have immigration rules against members of groups that use violence for political ends.

      It isn't the wording nor the rules. It is the enforcement of the rules. And I would suspect, political interference. Remember, the Daddy Dearest of this "Father knows Best" family had his release pushed for by Jean Chretien.

      This episode should really reassure our American friends of our tough stand on terrorism.

      Comment


      • #4
        The point I'm trying to make is that because Abdurahman Khadr was a U.S. operative, we cannot use this story as an example of Canadian policy. Obviously, such people, and their families, have to be given special privileges for their protection and so that other operatives can be recruited.

        Therefore, I do not think this particular case sets any relevant precedent for border security. If A. Khadr had not been a U.S. operative, then yes it would. Since he was, we cannot get alarmed over this story.

        What we do have to do is make sure that immigration policies are refined to exclude extremists including Islamic extremists who are now a major threat.

        Though I regret the instances of non-diplomatic language, my own view is that Canada has been a superb friend to the United States in the War on Terror due to
        a) the support during the 9/11 crisis, eg. taking over the air traffic
        b) playing a very active role in the Afghanistan front
        c) trying to dissuade the Americans from the folly of going to war against Iraq

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by hm0504:
          [qb] The point I'm trying to make is that because Abdurahman Khadr was a U.S. operative, we cannot use this story as an example of Canadian policy. Obviously, such people, and their families, have to be given special privileges for their protection and so that other operatives can be recruited.

          Apparently, according to a CP news update, the family is here on a special "one time" visa and will have to leave or apply for refugee status after the son recieves his medical treatment.

          quote:

          Therefore, I do not think this particular case sets any relevant precedent for border security. If A. Khadr had not been a U.S. operative, then yes it would. Since he was, we cannot get alarmed over this story.

          It probably doesn't, but it doesn't look good, in light of the comments of the mother and sister.

          quote:

          What we do have to do is make sure that immigration policies are refined to exclude extremists including Islamic extremists who are now a major threat.

          The policies seem to vary depending on who you talk to. The regulations, according to the act, are quite clear, but seem to be interpreted rather loosely by various levels within Immigration.

          quote:

          Though I regret the instances of non-diplomatic language, my own view is that Canada has been a superb friend to the United States in the War on Terror due to
          a) the support during the 9/11 crisis, eg. taking over the air traffic
          b) playing a very active role in the Afghanistan front
          c) trying to dissuade the Americans from the folly of going to war against Iraq [/qb]
          It has... given the internal politics of the country and the Liberal Party. But in politics, particularly international politics, appearance is important.

          From an American perspective, they are going to see that an member of the the organisation that knocked down the World Trade Centre and killed thousands of US citizens, is being admitted to Canada for humanitarian reasons. Never mind the small print. That isn't going to sit well with them.

          Comment


          • #6
            As the U.S. has its own witness/operative protection programs, I think they would see this action by Canada as being very much a good thing. The action gives confidence to U.S. operatives that their concerns will be met while demonstrating Canada is not an open door for terrorists.

            Obviously the family is going to be under close watch because A. Khadr was a U.S. operative against Al Quaida and because many of the others are known Al Quaida sympathizers. Geez, wouldn't not be fun to listen in on their dinner-time conversations!

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:
              Originally posted by hm0504:
              [qb] As the U.S. has its own witness/operative protection programs, I think they would see this action by Canada as being very much a good thing. The action gives confidence to U.S. operatives that their concerns will be met while demonstrating Canada is not an open door for terrorists.
              I wasn't thinking so much of the intelligence agencies, but rather the general population. I assume that US intelligence was briefed by their Canadian counterparts.

              quote:

              Obviously the family is going to be under close watch because A. Khadr was a U.S. operative against Al Quaida and because many of the others are known Al Quaida sympathizers. Geez, wouldn't not be fun to listen in on their dinner-time conversations! [/qb]
              I would hope that A. Khadr was already being watched. Remember his turn away from terrorism came only after being captured. Can you trust a turncoat to not turn again? Was he really a turncoat or an opportunist? Remember the strength of blood and family in his culture...

              Comment


              • #8
                I think the American public would want Canada to support U.S. operatives in the manner described in this topic. Maybe some will express their thoughts.

                Based on available information, from his early teens, A. Khadr gained an appreciation for Canadian values and people. Though his father, a close associate of Osama bin Laden, placed him in Al Quaida training camps, A. Khadr never adopted the extremism view -- he was nonetheless tolerated by Al Quaida due to his family connections. When his camp was overrun by the Americans, A. Khadr agreed to act as a spy at Guantanamo and then in Belgrade. However in Belgrade, he determined he couldn't go through with a particularly dangerous mission and asked to be released from his operative duties. At that point, the Americans dropped him off at the Canadian embassy.

                In reviewing this, one should remember A. Khadr is a young man in a bizarre family situation. I get the feeling he has pretty much always wanted to live a typical Canadian life as a Muslim moderate and can't stand the extremist nonsense.

                I've certainly known many people from extremist religious backgrounds who are positively fed up with it. I get the feeling one either ends up becoming an extremist or becoming an extreme anti-extremist (eg. extreme moderate, if you get my drift). I'd guess that A. Khadr would like nothing more than never hearing about Al Quaida again. We should note that not all of the Khadr family are pro-Al Quaida; as I said, they must have some interesting dinner-time conversations -- would make a great reality TV show.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by hm0504:
                  [qb] I think the American public would want Canada to support U.S. operatives in the manner described in this topic. Maybe some will express their thoughts.

                  Based on available information, from his early teens, A. Khadr gained an appreciation for Canadian values and people. Though his father, a close associate of Osama bin Laden, placed him in Al Quaida training camps, A. Khadr never adopted the extremism view -- he was nonetheless tolerated by Al Quaida due to his family connections. [/qb]
                  What source did you get that from. I am curious because I haven't heard much of his early life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    CBC did an extensive interview with A. Khadr, his mother and a sister -- I think it was called "Al Quaida Family". They also successfully corroborated A. Khadr's "setting the record straight" story with external sources.

                    I'm going by memory but I think I've got the bulk of the facts right.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by hm0504:
                      [qb] CBC did an extensive interview with A. Khadr, his mother and a sister -- I think it was called "Al Quaida Family". They also successfully corroborated A. Khadr's "setting the record straight" story with external sources.

                      I'm going by memory but I think I've got the bulk of the facts right. [/qb]
                      I am glad they corroborated his story. I have seen to many "I was caught up as an innocent..." stories in my lifetime that I am a little cynical of uncorroborated stories.

                      Comment

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