In an article entitled ‘The Views of Canadian Scholars on the Impact of the Anti-Terrorism Act‘, last modified April 15, 2011, the Government of Canada is clearly ramping up its fearmongering pro-war propaganda.

  These ‘Canadian Scholars’ discussed subjects such as ‘Emerging trends in terrorism and threats faced by Canada’, and ‘The Abandonment of Restraint in Terrorist Attacks’, including the alarming possibility that terrorist-linked students have been researching how to produce weapons of mass destruction at Canadian universities.

A link to the Canadian Government website is found in the comments.




The Views of Canadian Scholars on the Impact of

the Anti-Terrorism Act



 4.1 The abandonment of restraint in terrorist attacks

 4.2 The transformation of terrorist groups

 4.3 Level of threat to Canada

 4.4 Factors contributing to Canada’s vulnerability

 4.5 The nature of threats and specific targets in Canada


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4.1 The Abandonment of Restraint in Terrorist Attacks


More than half the participants pointed out that the 9/11 attacks heralded a new era in which previous limits and restraints have been abandoned. Mass casualties are sought and the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction are a possibility that must be considered by planners. Brynen notes that the 9/11 attacks and follow-up attacks from Bali to Istanbul have erased previous limits and will be modeled by others. “There will be a long-term increase in the willingness of groups to use mass-casualty attacks on soft targets to make their point…The scope of 9/11 may create a phenomenon or terrorist ‘kill-inflation’, with pressure within terrorist groups for larger and larger attacks.”


Charters adds: “For if a terrorist group can now kill and injure nearly 10,000 people in one coordinated attack, then a much bigger attack-possibly using Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to decapitate or paralyze a state-is conceivable. It may no longer be a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’.”


Wark believes that terrorism will continue to proliferate globally and that no prediction is safe about the weapons and scale of violence to be employed by terrorist groups. Both military and civilian entities, as well as symbolic targets, will be vulnerable.



4.5 The Nature of Threats and Specific Targets in Canada


Charters notes that threats to Canada take various forms: (1) Direct attacks on Canadian targets at home or abroad (e.g., Afghanistan); (2) Attacks on American, British, Israeli, or Jewish targets or interests in Canada, including critical infrastructures shared by Canada and the US; (3) An attack on the United States that is launched from Canada (as in the attempted attack on the Los Angeles airport by Ahmed Ressam and his associates); (4) An attack using WMDs on a border city, such as Detroit or Windsor, requiring evacuations, quarantining, and decontamination of people and property.


Martyn notes that attacks in Canada would likely be launched against US interests or for an American audience (e.g., Ontario/Quebec power grid). Such an attack would disrupt the US economy in the northeast and would reach the attention of an American audience, but would not have the same impact as one on American soil.


Whitaker notes that the use of WMDs by terrorists, while difficult, must be taken very seriously due to the potential consequences. Of these weapons, “dirty” radiological bombs are the easiest to assemble and deliver. Critical infrastructures must be protected due to the dual threat to public health and the economy (e.g., attacks on nuclear power plants). Terrorism should be viewed along a spectrum of public safety concerns, alongside recent non-terrorist threats to health and public safety such BSE, SARS, BC forest fires and the recent power blackout.


Rudner observes that Canada may be vulnerable to WMDs both as a locale for terrorist access to the technologies used in making these weapons and as a possible target for a WMD attack. He reminds us of a Canadian charitable front for Al-Qaeda that was suspected of having links to efforts to procure nuclear and chemical materials. He notes that terrorists may dispatch students and researchers to Canadian universities to gain access to technologies required in the production of WMDs.



5.8 Generating The Public’s Buy-in and Confidence in Counter-Terrorism Measures


Several participants stressed the importance of the public’s approbation with regard to counter-terrorism measures. Martyn notes that the key to any strategy is communicating what is being done to both the domestic and international community, as the public must buy-in, whether in the form of financing measures (e.g., foreign aid) or tolerating enhanced security procedures while traveling. The public must be engaged in the measures taken rather than being presented with them as a fait accompli. Martyn does caution, however, that engaging the public is difficult, due to the confidentiality of intelligence gathered, apathy, and its impatience, as terrorism is a long-term war and “there will be no clear, decisive closure” as in past wars. He therefore urges honest communications, along with “achievable and justifiable goals.”


Rudner calls for the government to build public confidence in the ability of the authorities to protect Canadians from terrorism. A confidence-building effort would familiarize Canadians with the terrorist threats facing this country and its interests, promote knowledge about Canada’s security and intelligence community, their lawful functions, and review mechanisms, and promote a public discussion about national security issues, human rights, and democracy. Proper oversight of the intelligence function is critical in building such confidence. Building public confidence is important because, “…terrorist asymmetric warfare may call for counter-terrorism actions that could touch on sensitive cultural, social, or human rights concerns…”


Wark adds that popular support is crucial in achieving a sustainable national security strategy. New programs for research, teaching, and publication on the topic of national security are required in Canadian universities. The government must be willing to disseminate information on terrorist and other national security threats. A new standing national security committee will raise public awareness. Attention should also be paid to the issue of how and when to alert the public about changing threat levels.


5.9 The North American Perimeter and Border Security


Whitaker asserts that Canada has an economic stake in an open border and in the sharing of intelligence with the US and requires that we establish the levels of security necessary to reassure the Americans that their northern border is not at risk. An effective North American security perimeter is worth striving for and must be viewed in global terms (e.g., pre-clearance of container traffic from anywhere in the world).


Rudner also advocates careful controls on identity documents and trans-border movements to interrupt the mobilization and deployment of recruits by terror networks. Furthermore, Wark notes that Canada needs to devote attention to maritime security, which includes the physical security, as well as the monitoring and control of traffic, at Canadian ports.






One Response to CANADIAN GOVERNMENT RAMPS UP WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TERRORISM THREAT PROPAGANDA: Are students studying how to produce WMDs in Canadian universities?

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