No Canadian connection in Paris attacks, public safety minister says
RCMP vehicles are seen parked outside the French Embassy in Ottawa, Nov. 14, 2015.
Published Saturday, November 14, 2015 3:19PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, November 14, 2015 9:26PM EST
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says that the biggest threat to Canada in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks is that they may inspire "deranged" individuals to perpetrate similar acts of violence in this country.
After briefing with top security officials, Goodale said there are no present concerns of an increased risk of a terror attack on Canadian soil, and there appears to be no Canadian connection to the deadly attacks that rippled across the French capital on Friday.
"From all of the information we have been able to gather, there does not appear to be any reason to change the risk assessment for Canada," he told CTV News, adding that security authorities are monitoring the situation.
Earlier on Saturday, the RCMP said it has been in contact with local police forces operations across Canada to ensure there's heightened awareness and vigilance after mass shootings and suicide-bombings took place in Paris.
In an email sent to CTV News on Saturday, spokesperson Julie Gagnon said that the RCMP has asked its Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETS) to review their files and targets and "to be vigilant for any inspirational effect these attacks may have."
"While the RCMP is not aware of any immediate and specific related threats arising from the Paris attacks, we urge Canadians to remain alert and to immediately report any suspicious or unusual behaviour," Gagnon said in the email.
She added that the national police force shares in the "shock and outrage and grief" arising from the terror attacks, and offers its full cooperation to French police authorities.
In an email sent to CTV, a spokesperson for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said that “no country is immune” to acts of terrorism and that the agency continues to work to keep Canadians safe following the Paris attacks.
“Our mandate is to investigate threats to the security of Canada and Canadians, and, as always, Canadians can be assured we are working very closely with domestic and international partners in that regard,” spokesperson Tahera Mufti said.
The death toll from the coordinated Paris attacks climbed to 129 on Saturday, with more than 350 injured. Islamic State jihadists claimed responsibility for the attacks.
French prosecutor Francois Molins said Saturday that three teams of extremists carried out the attacks across the city.
The Islamic State extremist group said in a statement posted online that they were launched in retaliation for France's involvement in the air campaign against ISIS militants.
Canada is also taking part in the bombing mission against ISIS, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to withdraw the country's jets, re-focusing Canada’s role on training local troops instead.
The Department of National Defence said that two of Canada's CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS compound and two separate ISIS fighting positions Friday near the Iraqi city of Ramadi.
Goodale said that the Liberal government still intends to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in the country before the end of the year. He said that all of the refugees will still face the necessary security and health checks before they will be brought to Canada.
"There can be no compromise on the quality of the security work, it must be done and it must be done properly," he said.