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Kip Powick

Waffling Canada

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2 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

Article about what Canada is going to do with Canadians who fought for ISIS.

Again the weakness of the Canadian Government comes to the front...

Personally I take the US and British idea..


My idea of freedom is that we should protect the rights of people to believe what their conscience dictates, but fight equally hard to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them. Justin Trudeau
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John Ivison: Canada’s allies are killing their ISIL fighters, while we put our hope in counselling

‎Today, ‎November ‎21, ‎2017, ‏‎38 minutes ago | John Ivison

Justin Trudeau batted away claims that the Liberals are soft on terror this week, as the government faces the prospect of more jihadists returning from Syria after the collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate.

National security agencies are monitoring returning fighters, revoking passports and laying criminal charges, he said in the House of Commons.

Besides, the government has launched the new Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence to help jihadists “let go of that terrorist ideology,” he said.

So sleep easy. Nothing to see here. Hardened extremists can be relied upon to change their minds, if given the “appropriate disengagement and re-integration support.”

Ralph Goodale, the public safety minister, was equally reassuring in the House Tuesday when he was asked by Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel how many returnees are under 24-hour surveillance. Goodale said he couldn’t discuss operational matters, but said security agencies are doing everything possible to keep Canadians safe, while respecting the rights and freedoms of returnees.

“The answer should be all of them,” said Rempel.

But that is unlikely, according to people more familiar with the security situation on the ground than the prime minister.

“You can’t monitor them all — the number of targets are exceeding capacity,” said Ray Boisvert, president of I-Sec Integrated Strategies and a former assistant director of intelligence at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. “We have a proper security dilemma that no positive progressive thinking program can easily fix.”

Other governments have been less conflicted about the solution. Rory Stewart, the U.K. minister of international development, said last week the only way of dealing with British citizens who joined ISIL is to kill them. The British have also been active in stripping citizenship from dual nationals and banning them from returning to the U.K.

The U.S. has stated explicitly that its mission is to make sure that any foreign fighters who joined ISIL in Syria, die in Syria. Australia and France have taken a similar approach, with French special forces co-operating with Iraqi units to hunt down and kill French fighters.

Goodale said, “Canada does not engage in death squads.”

The minister said Canada will pursue criminal charges where possible and withdraw passports. Yet only two returnees have been charged with participating in terrorism and the immigration department could not supply information on the number of passports that have been withdrawn.

Canada would struggle to block its citizens from returning to the country, regardless of the crimes they are suspected of having committed. The right of return has been established by the courts, not least in the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik. The Federal Court judged his right to mobility under the Charter was infringed when he was barred from returning to Canada from Sudan, after being wrongfully accused of terrorist connections.

One person familiar with the situation said it is no surprise prosecutions are rare.

He said the RCMP and the Crown want “hard and irrefutable evidence — the perfect case” on terror suspects, which can usually only be obtained by giving up human or signals intelligence sources.

Once returning jihadists go to ground, CSIS is forced to employ surveillance teams, intelligence officers, analysts, translators and technicians to monitor as many suspects as possible.

“What does that mean? It means I’m spending a ton of resources on what might be yesterday’s threat,” said one source.

“The newly radicalized kid goes uninvestigated for lack of person power.”

The feeling among veteran analysts is that the majority of returning foreign fighters will want to move on with their lives. At the end of 2015, about 180 extremists “with a nexus to Canada” were active in terror groups around the world, according to government figures. Around 60 have returned to Canada.

However, experience suggests hard-core extremists will go to ground until courts advise the security agencies that they have “no current threat” information and resources are redeployed. “Then the danger begins,” said one person with knowledge of the security landscape.

Michael Day, a retired lieutenant-general and former commander of Canada’s special forces, is sceptical about Trudeau’s emphasis on persuading jihadists to let go of the terrorist ideology.

“Having profiled these gents for many, many years, (the idea) that everyone is suitable, let alone able, to be reintegrated is absurd,” he said.

The Conservatives claim the Liberals are welcoming jihadists back to Canada with the promise of reintegration services and that the new security legislation weakens national security agencies at a dangerous time. The latter point is debatable — Bill C-59 retains CSIS’s threat-mitigation capacity and takes away powers it never used.

But the consistent refrain of balancing rights and security will come back to haunt the Liberals, if a returning fighter commits an atrocity in Canada. Let’s remember whose rights are being protected.

• Email: | Twitter: IvisonJ

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Ivison - and some of you- are being sucked in by the security establishment looking to protect and even enhance their turf and budgets. I've seen this happen many times before - the threat always seems to grow when the self-serving want it to. Yes, some foreign countries are killing off their ISIS members. We don't know how efficiently they are doing it, or what the consequences will be. 

 I'm going to cite here the most knowledgeable source here OUTSIDE the Canadian security establishment. Read this thread.



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I have absolutely no trust in this government to secure our borders, whether it is returning terrorists or migrants that walk across our border....I don't think they have a clue who they have let in, for even 50% of the group.

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3 hours ago, dagger said:

Ivison - and some of you- are being sucked in by the security establishment looking to protect and even enhance their turf and budgets. I've seen this happen many times before - the threat always seems to grow when the self-serving want it to. Yes, some foreign countries are killing off their ISIS members. We don't know how efficiently they are doing it, or what the consequences will be. 

 I'm going to cite here the most knowledgeable source here OUTSIDE the Canadian security establishment. Read this thread.

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Federal government not tracking interventions with returning ISIS fighters

“‘Turning radicalized individuals away from extreme ideologies and helping them rejoin Canadian society is a key goal of the federal government, but it has little data on how well that fight is going.

The new Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence is supposed to be on the front line of this fight. It funds research and programs that "aim to prevent and counter radicalization to violence at the individual level." 

But the government doesn't know how many radicalized people are actually being spoken to, or who they are. Public Safety Canada says it can't provide statistics because the Canada Centre does not directly intervene with radicalized individuals.

Moreover, the groups the Centre funds tend to focus on research over action.”

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Radicalized is too generic a term.  There have been MANY cases where a person could be considered radicalized but they were not specifically radicalized by a person or organization.  There are many in the US alone that could be considered radicalized against the US government but have never spoken to a terrorist organization or its representative.  It comes from within.  A seed may be planted in the brain at some point that moves the individual in this direction but that seed could have been planted by the government itself.

To target someone for being "Radicalized" is akin to tossing everyone who doesn't share your views under the microscope.

PS There have ALWAYS been radicals in our society.  ALWAYS

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COMMENTARY: On returning ISIS fighters, Trudeau has a script. But he doesn’t have a clue

Charles Adler By Charles Adler Radio Host  CKNW

WATCH: Andrew Scheer asks what rehabilitation returning ISIS members get

The tweet was not subtle. And it wasn’t meant to be.

I was reacting to the unbelievable exchange between Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer in parliament on Monday. Everyone who has seen this clip (which you can watch above) of a Canadian prime minister reading from a script to answer a simple question from the opposition leader is blown away.

It has nothing to do with whether the viewer is a Liberal supporter or not.

I have, with my own ears, heard several people who voted for Trudeau saying for the first time since the election they regret their vote.

READ MORE: Canada concerned about returning ISIS fighters, Justin Trudeau says

This clip has peeled the bark right off the Trudeau tree.

It makes supporters forget how responsive they were to the ‘cover model’ Prime Minister.

When they watch this, they stop caring about what he looks like on the cover of Rolling Stone or Vogue.

In the words of Buddy Holly, “It doesn’t matter anymore.”


Now if the reader doesn’t mind, I’d like to reset by asking you this question: Have you ever heard of the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence?

Neither had I, until this week.

READ MORE: What happens when an ISIS member returns to Canada? The story of one Toronto-area man

It’s a federal government program, which, according to the Prime Minister, “helps to ensure that resources are in place to facilitate disengagement from violent ideologies.”

That’s part of the PM’s scripted response to a very fair question being asked by Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, who was wondering why Canada is allowing people who chose to leave our country to join ISIS in the Middle East to now return to Canada to live a life outside prison.

Trudeau wants to reintegrate them into Canadian society. Common sense forces us to ask why.

Who the hell wants this kind of crud to be among us?

WATCH: Canada offers ‘reintegration support’ for ISIS fighters


Apparently the Prime Minister doesn’t see anyone as crud, not even those who used their Canadian passports to travel to the Middle East to hook up with people who, if they had the chance, would happily murder as many of us as possible, and by any means possible.

The crud wanted to hang out with and get trained by those who would want to shoot us, bomb us, or mow us down in rented trucks.

READ MORE: What happens when an ISIS member returns to Canada? The story of one Toronto-area man

Canadians are not without a clue as to what we’re talking about here. This isn’t theoretical.

This is ISIS, a gang of savages we have spent years fighting along with our allies, and for good reason.

WATCH: More Canadians joining ISIS: Goodale


Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was just doing his job by putting this question to the Prime Minister.

Referring to those who left the country to join ISIS, the opposition leader said:

“These are people who got on a plane to fight for ISIS and watched as our allied soldiers were burned to death in a cage. These are people who got on a plane to go to fight for an organization that sells women and girls into slavery. These are people who left Canada to fight for a group of people who push homosexuals off buildings just for being gay. Can the Prime Minister explain to the House exactly what a program or reintegration service would look like for the people who commit these kinds of atrocities?”

Could we all agree that was a pertinent question, especially since we have no idea how many Canadians and/or Canadian residents have hooked up with ISIS and then returned?

But the number is widely believed to be somewhere in the hundreds.

READ MORE: Canadian ISIS member identified by Interpol as ‘potential suicide bomber’

Can we agree it’s a good idea for the opposition leader to know why we’re allowing them to return and what is it that we plan to do to keep people safe from these people who clearly are turned on by terror?

So here comes the Prime Minister’s scripted response.

Warning: If you are a Trudeau supporter, be prepared to have regrets.

“We recognize that the return of even one individual may have serious national security implications,” said the prime minister.

He then offered this business about a government program known as the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, which I introduced you to a couple of paragraphs ago.

The PM also said his government “will also continue to carefully monitor trends in extremist travel, and our national security agencies work together to ensure that our response reflects the current threat environment.”

WATCH: Prime Minister Trudeau says Canadians decided on anti-ISIS course when they elected him


The assumption here is that the government knows who all these people are, and knows where they live and play and work, and that they are being tracked.

READ MORE: More Canadians joining ISIS, according to public safety minister

How safe an assumption is that?

It’s about as safe at it would be for you to go to sleep in the passing lane of the Trans Canada Highway and assume that no car, bus or 18-wheeler will end your innocent Canadian life.

WATCH: ‘He’s a good person:’ Parents of Toronto man accused of joining ISIS speak out



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Still no indication that he has a clue re what to do about them.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale appears on CTV's Question Period on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017


Chance of reintegrating Canadian ISIS fighters 'pretty remote': Goodale

Published Sunday, November 26, 2017 7:00AM EST

OTTAWA – The likelihood of successfully reintegrating ISIS fighters with ties to Canada who have returned home is "pretty remote," admits Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

After days of questioning over Canada’s plan to rehabilitate returning ISIS fighters, the federal government’s point man on national security says it might be too late for some.

"If you want to have a good solid hope of some kind of successful intervention, it has to be at a much earlier stage. You have to prevent the problem before it exists," said Goodale in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period.

"Once a person has been in a war zone, once they’ve been actively engaged in terrorist-related activities, the capacity to turn them around is pretty remote. That’s why you have to use the other tools, including collecting the evidence and prosecuting wherever and whenever you can," he said.

Though, Goodale admits pursuing charges against these people is difficult. So far charges have been brought in two cases since the Liberals came to power. The challenge, Goodale said, is in translating intelligence that Canadian security agencies have on these people into evidence that will stick in court.

For now, Canadian authorities are using surveillance measures, and passport revocations as methods to monitor those who have come back to Canada.

Goodale said there are between 180 and 190 with a connection to Canada that they know have travelled to Syria and Iraq, among other locations.

As well, there are roughly 60 foreign fighters who have returned to Canada, about the same number as two years ago.

"Some of them will have engaged in fighting and been an active part of the terrorist network. Others will have done other things to support the terrorist network in some other way… some of them may well be dead," Goodale said.

Goodale faced criticism in the House of Commons over the potential national security threat these people pose.

On Friday, the Conservative Party sent a fundraising email to supporters saying that the Liberals are "putting the safety of all Canadians at risk."

"These are people that got on a plane to fight for a terrorist organization committing some of the worst atrocities imaginable… They need to be prosecuted and dealt with to the full extent of the law," the email reads.

Earlier this year the government launched a counter-radicalization centre -- the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence -- to counter extremism. Budget 2016 earmarked $35 million over five years for the centre.

Rules could change following Trudeau's mall swarming

After being whisked away by his protective detail from a suburban Toronto shopping mall while campaigning with a byelection candidate on Wednesday, questions were raised about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's security.

In an interview with CP24, former RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster said that despite official assurances that Trudeau’s personal safety was never compromised, anything could have happened.

"You do need to keep a cordon around the prime minister so that no one can get within reach of him should they want to do him harm," Inkster said. "Clearly, things got out of hand."

Goodale, who is responsible for the RCMP said Trudeau’s security team did their job reacting to a "spontaneous," "developing situation" by getting him out of there, but it’s possible the protocols could change going forward.

"Every time there’s an incident, the people who are involved go to school on that incident and determine what, if anything, could have been done better, and do they need to change the rules of engagement. They will if that is necessary," said Goodale.

"They’ll learn the lessons from that, and the appropriate actions will be taken."

New RCMP commissioner coming 'early' in New Year

Goodale also said that Canada will have a new commissioner of the RCMP soon, replacing retired Comm. Bob Paulson. In the interim, deputy commissioner Daniel Dubeau has been acting in the role.

"We’re in the final stages of the interviewing process… there was a medium list and a short list, and now down to the final interviews in the next number of days and I hope to be able to make a recommendation to the prime minister very early in the New Year," Goodale said.

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Seems that there may a threat that so far has gone unnoticed 

ISIS brides returning home and raising the next generation of jihadist martyrs

The Islamic State plan to use women to launch the next incarnation of ISIS involves female returnees raising terrorists

The woman’s secret flight from the caliphate took place more than six months ago, aided by a smuggler who helped her sneak across the Syrian-Turkish border one spring night. But in spirit, this red-haired exile from the Islamic State never truly left.

She covered herself in black from head to toe to greet a recent visitor to the small Moroccan house where she stays, and removed her veil only when assured that her guest, also a woman, was alone. Over sips of mint tea, she spoke admiringly of her militant husband and the comrades she met in the Islamic State’s all-female brigade. Calling herself Zarah – she declined to give her family name because she had traveled to Syria in secret – she vowed that her children would someday reclaim the Islamist paradise she believes was stolen from her family.

“We will bring up strong sons and daughters and tell them about the life in the caliphate,” she said, fingering her teacup through black gloves. “Even if we hadn’t been able to keep it, our children will one day get it back.”

Zarah’s blunt-spoken fealty to the Islamic State was remarkable, given the physical and legal perils facing Islamic State residents who seek to return to former homes. But counterterrorism officials fear that the sentiments expressed by the Moroccan woman may not be so unusual.

In recent months, women immigrants to the Islamic State have been fleeing the caliphate by the hundreds, eventually returning to their native countries or finding sanctuary in detention centers or refugee camps along the way. Some are mothers with young children who say they were pressured into traveling to Iraq or Syria to be with their husbands. But a disturbing number appear to have embraced the group’s ideology and remain committed to its goals, according to interviews with former residents of the caliphate as well as intelligence officials and analysts who are closely tracking the returnees.

From North Africa to Western Europe, the new arrivals are presenting an unexpected challenge to law enforcement officials, who were bracing for an influx of male returnees but instead have found themselves deciding the fate of scores of women and children. Few of the females fought in battle, yet governments are beginning to regard all as potential threats, both in the near term and well into the future. Indeed, as the loss of the caliphate has appeared ever more certain, Islamic State leaders in recent weeks have issued explicit directions to women returnees to prepare for new missions, from carrying out suicide attacks to training offspring to become future terrorists.

“There were definitely cases of women being dragged off to ISIS, but there are others who have been radicalized, including some who went on to assume important roles,” said Anne Speckhard, director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, a nonprofit organization that conducts field research on Islamic State deserters and defectors.

One Kosovo native interviewed by the center admitted that she returned home only because she was in the final weeks of pregnancy and wanted better medical care.

“She came out to have her baby but said she wanted to go back,” Speckhard said. “And, she said, she wanted both her kids to grow up to be martyrs.”

For months, terrorism officials have been expecting a wave of returnees from the caliphate. But not this one.

In Morocco, the North African kingdom whose coastline faces continental Europe from across the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, just over 1,600 male fighters have traveled to Iraq or Syria since 2012 to join the Islamic State, along with a nearly equal number of women and children, according to figures compiled by the Soufan Group, a private firm that advises governments and corporations on security matters.

The flow of recruits from North Africa and Europe slowed to a trickle last year as U.S.-backed forces cut off the group’s supply lines and closed in on its final strongholds, and relatively few of the male fighters have come home, despite fears of a mass exodus as the caliphate neared collapse. Instead, foreign consulates in Turkey have been besieged by hundreds of women and children – the wives, mothers and offspring of Islamic State fighters – seeking permission to return home.

Scores of Moroccan women have successfully returned – including some, like Zarah, who slipped in and out of the country unnoticed – and dozens more are waiting in detention centers in Turkey while their cases are reviewed. Moroccan officials acknowledge that the women pose a dilemma for policymakers and law enforcement: the country is obliged to accept custody of its citizens, but there is no set policy on how to deal with them. Returnees who committed crimes will go to jail, but the law is less clear on how to treat wives and mothers with no record of violence or history of direct participation in extremist causes.

“All the women tell us the same story: their husbands went because of the financial benefits and they followed them because they had no choice,” a senior Moroccan official said in an interview, insisting on anonymity in discussing the country’s security challenges.

Most of the women who have returned so far appear intent on resuming their old lives and putting the Islamic State behind them, officials say. But the fear among security experts is that some of the returnees continue to hold radical views and will seek to indoctrinate family members.

“There are, first and foremost, their children, who they are supposed to bring up the way ISIS would want them to,” the senior official said.

Several recent Moroccan returnees interviewed by The Washington Post all seemed relieved to be home, describing an increasingly harrowing existence inside a caliphate strained by shortages and daily airstrikes and bombardments. Each agreed to talk about their experiences on the condition that their family names or locations not be revealed, citing fears of reprisal by Islamic State sympathizers in Morocco or arrest by the authorities.

“We were afraid of the rockets and bombings – my children would run into the corner and cry,” said Umm Zaid, who fled from Syria with her four children in July. The family had immigrated to the Islamic State’s eastern al-Khayr province in 2015 thinking that “life might be better there,” she said. But once inside the caliphate, she found herself mostly confined to her house and feeling suffocated by the Islamic State’s strict codes. Her husband, an employee in the local alms department, decided that the family would return to Morocco, but someone learned of his escape plan and betrayed him. The husband was arrested, while Umm Zaid and her children joined with other Moroccan families in fleeing north toward the Turkish border.

“We had to cross with our kids by foot,” she said.

Yet, months later, signs of the Islamic State’s influence persist. Most of the women interviewed continue to wear the conservative garb mandated by the Islamist militant group, including the niqab, a heavy veil that covers everything but the eyes.

“That’s my right; I can wear whatever I like,” snapped Umm Khaled, another recent returnee who brought three children home to Morocco, including one that was born in the Islamic State. “Allah gave the niqab to the women.”

Zarah was more candid in describing her initial attraction to Islamic State. She acknowledged that it had been her idea to move to Syria, and that she had persuaded her first husband to join the terrorist group soon after the caliphate was officially declared in 2014.

“I actually pushed my husband that we should travel,” she said. After arriving in Syria, her husband trained as a fighter and soon “became a martyr for the caliphate, thanks to God,” said Zarah, a woman in her late 20s with pale skin and long, henna-tinged tresses. “I loved him. But we all must make sacrifices for our beliefs,” she said.

Zarah eventually remarried and obtained a job in the Islamic State’s media service, where women who were generally barred from combat duty could serve a useful role in shaping the group’s propaganda. She described being particularly inspired by Fatiha Mejjati, the 56-year-old widow of a Moroccan terrorist who rose to become the leader of the Islamic State’s al-Khansaa brigade, an all-female detachment that polices the group’s strictures against wearing makeup or showing bare skin. Mejjati’s reputation as a harsh enforcer of the group’s legal codes is supported by multiple witnesses and court documents that describe floggings of women suspected of breaking the rules. Reached by The Washington Post through an intermediary, Mejjati said her “current situation” did not allow her to answer questions.

Zarah would soon join the brigade. She recalled how, in meetings, Mejjati would lecture other members about the obligations of serving as a woman in the Islamic State, including the duty to marry an Islamist militant and raise children to be soldiers of the caliphate.

“It was – and still is – our duty to have children and bring them up the right way,” Zarah said. She was unsure about the fate of her second husband, who had stayed in Syria to help defend an enclave that they both knew was probably doomed, at least in its current form. “We thought that even if they would try to destroy the caliphate, it will live on,” she said, “as long as we spread the idea of the Islamic State.”

For many of the women returnees, the obligations appear to extend beyond the nurturing of future terrorists. In recent months, a growing number of women have been tapped to carry out military operations, both inside the caliphate and in their home countries.

Since the founding of the caliphate, Islamic State leaders have traditionally discouraged women from serving as warriors or suicide bombers. But as the losses have mounted, the group has given female followers a broader mandate to kill.

In the most prominent recent example, commanders ordered dozens of female suicide bombers to throw themselves against advancing government troops in a last-ditch effort to defend Mosul, the Islamic State’s Iraqi capital. In September 2016, the group’s Syrian leaders guided a cell of five French women in a foiled attempt to carry out a terrorist bombing in central Paris.

An essay last month in the Islamic State’s official propaganda organ, al-Naba, sought to rally more women to the fight by invoking a famous female from Islam’s early history: Nusaybah bit Ka’ab, a 7th-century tribeswoman who took up a sword to assist the prophet Muhammad when he was surrounded by enemies in battle.

“It is not strange to the Muslim women today to have the sense of honesty and sacrifice and love for the faith, just like their predecessors of the mujahid women who supported Islam,” said the essay, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, a private organization that monitors Islamist militant media.

Although the Islamic State never disallowed attacks by women, the group now appears to be openly encouraging them, said Rita Katz, a terrorism analyst and founder of SITE.

“The new call from ISIS will even allow husbands and fathers to push their wives and daughters to carry out attacks,” Katz said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increase of women in ISIS-inspired or coordinated attacks in the West and elsewhere.”

Anticipating such a turn, several European governments have begun toughening their laws for dealing with women returnees. In Belgium, France and the Netherlands, prosecution and imprisonment are all but guaranteed for men and women who joined the caliphate and now wish to return home.

The Belgian government, after initially allowing some women and children to resettle in their former neighborhoods, is now preparing criminal proceedings against 29 female citizens who are seeking repatriation from Turkey, Iraq or Syria. The prevailing perception of such women as victims has mostly vanished because of the political backlash over the March 2016 terrorist attack in Brussels, and recent well-publicized cases in which the children of returning families sought to radicalize classmates at school, Belgian counterterrorism officials say.

The worry among European security experts is that some returnees will retain their radical views, even after spending time in prison. Such fears are bolstered by years of research that shows the difficulty of reversing the effects of extremist indoctrination, said Thomas Renard, a Belgian terrorism expert and senior fellow at the EGMONT Royal Institute for International Relations, a Brussels think tank. The studies also confirm that mothers have proportionately greater influence when it comes to instilling radical views in children, Renard said.

“Since the returnees are mostly young women, there’s a possibility of still more children in the coming years,” he said, “and so there’s also a real possibility that these women will raise their children to accept a very radical version of Islam.”

Even with the imposition of stricter laws and mandatory prison sentences, some returnees could remain under the Islamic State’s sway for years to come, he said.

“We can safely say that when they come out of prison, a majority will not have deradicalized,” Renard said. “And some will not have abandoned their allegiance to violent jihad.”

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Plan to deal with returning ISIS fighters sparks fiery exchange between Scheer, PM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer discuss prosecuting ISIS fighters who return to Canada.Graham Slaughter, Writer

Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:37PM EST 

In an explosive shouting match in the House of Commons Tuesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused the Liberal government of going easy on suspected ISIS terrorists returning to Canada, while the prime minister blamed the Conservatives for “trying to scare Canadians.”

The Conservatives have repeatedly hammered the government’s plan to rehabilitate ISIS fighters who return to Canada. Earlier this year, the government established a counter-radicalization centre, the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, in a bid to counter extremism.

In his opening remarks in question period, Scheer asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau why his government is “so focused on reintegration and not putting these people in jail.”

Trudeau responded that the government has a broad range of tools to keep Canadians safe, including “enforcement, surveillance and national security tools.”

“But we also have methods of de-emphasizing or de-programming people who want to harm our society,” Trudeau said.

Scheer shot back by accusing the Liberals of having too soft an approach.

“This prime minister is using a broad spectrum that includes poetry and podcasts and all kinds of counselling and group hug sessions. Mr. Speaker, when will the prime minister take the security of Canadians seriously and look for ways to put these ISIS fighters in jail?”

Trudeau appeared visibly angry by Scheer’s comments and raised his voice above hecklers to suggest that the Conservatives “learned nothing” from the last election.

“They ran an election on snitch lines against Muslims. They ran an election on islamophobia and division. And still they play the same games trying to scare Canadians. The fact is, we focus on the security of Canadians and we always will. And they play politics of fear. And Canadians reject that,” Trudeau said.

Scheer responded by doubling down on his poetry reference and saying that, when ISIS fighters return to Canada, “they don’t need to spend time writing haikus. They need to spend time in jail.”

“Mr. Speaker, nobody voted in the last election to elect a government that would be so focused on the rights of ISIS terrorists.”

The fiery exchange comes after Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told CTV’s Question Period that the chances of reintegrating ISIS fighters is “pretty remote” and that collecting evidence and prosecuting should happen “whenever you can.”

"If you want to have a good solid hope of some kind of successful intervention, it has to be at a much earlier stage. You have to prevent the problem before it exists," Goodale said.

Since the Liberals took office, charges have been laid in two cases involving individuals suspected of participating in terrorist activities abroad. Goodale told CTV’s Question Period that the difficulty with pressing charges against suspected terrorists is finding viable intelligence that can be used as evidence in court.

Canadian officials continue to revoke passports and are harnessing surveillance in efforts to closely watch individuals who return to Canada.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has said it knows of at least 180 individuals with a connection to Canada suspected of terrorist activity overseas. About half of those are believed to have travelled to Syria or Iraq.

Lorne Dawson, a University of Waterloo sociology professor and project director for the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society, has challenged the notion that terrorists retuning to Canada can’t be rehabilitated.

Dawson said that many terrorist travellers are disillusioned by the time they return home, and others suffer from trauma. Others, he said, may be focused on returning to a more normal life after feeling they have fought for their cause overseas.

"No credible expert in the world thinks you arrest your way out of jihadist radicalization -- it's a social movement," Dawson told the Canadian Press. "You can't possibly arrest all the people who are engaged with this ideology.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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With all of the apologies being thrown out by Trudeau, when can we expect him to apologize to the Canadian people for being a dumb-ass.

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“ These various decisions and actions have created a maze of potentially conflicting 'do's' and 'don'ts' for our national security, intelligence and diplomatic officials. The federal government's repeated refusal to fight the lawsuits and instead throw its officials under the bus is also dangerous, as it can create a risk aversion culture within these organizations for people who are literally on the front lines of protecting Canadian national security.”

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