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Old 08-24-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: La La Land, USA
14 posts, read 12,407 times
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Young Canadians are hurrying to Syria in record numbers to join rebels in their fight against the Assad regime, raising fears among security services at home about Al Qaeda’s access to Western recruits.

It is estimated that at least 100 Canadians — mainly in their 20s and coming from Ontario and Alberta — have left for Syria in the past year, joining a steady march of foreigners drawn to the conflict, security sources say.

“Our government is acutely aware of this issue,” said Frederik Boisvert, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, noting Ottawa passed the Combating Terrorism Act in April, which makes it a crime to leave the country — or even attempt to — to engage in terrorist activities.yria Records Its Millionth Child Refugee
The Canadian government is not alone in tracking its citizens travelling to Syria. Although estimates vary on the number of foreigners fighting in the country, Matthew Olsen, director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, recently called Syria the “predominant jihadist battlefield in the world.”

Fighters are leaving Canada for various motives. Horrific imagery of the slaughter by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad is spurring some to join the rebel cause. Others had already adopted Al Qaeda’s global agenda while still in Canada. For them, Syria provides a perfect battleground and has surpassed Afghanistan, Iraq, North or East Africa as the destination of choice.

But the distinction may not matter soon, as Al Qaeda groups extend their territory within Syria, blurring the lines between rebel fighters and those loyal to the terrorist network.
“If they don’t get killed, the concern is what happens when they come home,” said one Canadian official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Foreigners inside Syria are also increasingly being kidnapped or killed by Al Qaeda-linked groups, making Syria one of world’s most dangerous places for journalists.

U.S. photographer Matthew Schrier, who was seized Dec. 31, went public Friday withdetails of his torture and seven-month captivity. He told New York Times journalist C.J. Chivers how he was held in bases and prisons run by two Islamist rebel groups. He described his captors as both savvy and cruel: they accusing him of being an American spy, beat him and assumed his identity online to send emails to his mother and friends.
He said he believed some of his captors were Canadian.
Schrier could not be reached Friday for comment.

But if they were Canadian, they join a growing list of fellow countrymen who have been at the forefront of deadly terrorist actions abroad, including the April 15 attack and suicide bombing of Mogadishu’s courthouse and the January raid and hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant.

In Syria, where the complicated battlefield milieu spills beyond its country’s border and where Al Qaeda-linked groups are fast emerging, foreigners can easily make contact with hardened fighters.

Militant members of Jabat al Nusra — designated a terrorist group in the U.S. but still not on Canada’s list of banned organizations — hold sway, known for their military prowess, propping up the outgunned rebels.
And there’s the newly formed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has recently drawn recruits from abroad, including veterans of conflicts in Chechnya and the volatile border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The draw of Syria for global jihadists is irresistible. Syria is a major Arab country bordering the jihadis’ most hated enemy, Israel, and ruled by their second most hated enemy, the Shia,” said Will McCants, director of the Brookings Institution’s Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.

“To top it off, some Muslim traditions identify Syria as the scene of the final apocalyptic battle with the infidels,” said McCants, a former senior adviser at the U.S. State Department. “It’s a heady mix for pious young men. The immense human suffering only makes it more so.”

When the protests to oust Assad began in 2011, counterterrorism officials warned that the longer the conflict went on, the greater the risks of Al Qaeda carving out its territory amid the chaos.
Last November, the interim director of Canada’s Security Intelligence Service told a parliamentary committee that Syria provided Al Qaeda an ideal recruiting ground.

“The situation in Syria will remain chaotic for the foreseeable future, and this will continue to offer a permissive environment for terrorist activities,” Michel Coulombe stated.
“The spectre of these young people returning to Canada — with combat experience and thoroughly radicalized views — is a serious national security concern.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/08/23/canadians_hurrying_to_syria_in_record_numbers_to_j oin_rebels.html
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:57 AM
 
34,435 posts, read 41,537,489 times
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I really am crazy about you, jambo.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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lol...
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,346,398 times
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In record numbers? What was the previous record for most Canadians going to Syria to join the rebels? One?

Who "estimated" the 100, and is it possible that some of them are Syrians? Or are they school boys from Medicine Hat running away from home and seeking adventure?
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Toronto
1,574 posts, read 2,817,719 times
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Hehehehe....
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:23 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,997,406 times
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Not sure why people are finding this to be funny!

Looks like US is getting reading to intervene in Syria. Not sure if Canada (via NATO) will play much of a role.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:17 AM
 
34,435 posts, read 41,537,489 times
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Nothing funny about a situation that could easily escalate into a much bigger global conflict,or a government gassing its people with chemical weapons.
The funny part is the op's topic title and bogus assertion that many Canadians are swarming over to Syria to join the rebels.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:26 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,997,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Nothing funny about a situation that could easily escalate into a much bigger global conflict,or a government gassing its people with chemical weapons.
The funny part is the op's topic title and bogus assertion that many Canadians are swarming over to Syria to join the rebels.
Yes, that's my fear. This could escalate. But I think it is time for the Western countries including Canada to act. I mean, all these countries have signed treaties to fight against such atrocities. It is shame that so many people had to die in such horrendous ways.

But the OP's post is a Toronto Star article. I read a similar one on Globe & Mail (I think).
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:45 PM
 
34,435 posts, read 41,537,489 times
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Problem for western countries in the Syria conflict is both sides are equally as bad. on the one hand you have a dictator who has no problems killing and gassing his own people then on the other hand you have the so called rebel freedom fighters who are basically al queda and Taliban type combatants.
personally i think their conflict is none of our business and we should let them deal with thier own civil war issue repugnant as their actions are and not risk it escalating into a global conflict... WW3 if you will..
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