Government has tunnel vision when it comes to terror radicalization
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney arrives to talk to media about reports about Canadians going abroad to join ISIS, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday Feb 23, 2015 . (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
That bizarre Toronto tunnel was the howler of the week. It went nowhere and, given the discovery of Roman Catholic rosary beads and a military-honoring poppy inside, clearly wasn’t linked to jihad terrorism.
But conspiracy theorists sounding the alarm about the tunnel as a Pan-Am Games terrorism launch pad underline public fear factors stoked by a government which talks like there’s a terrorist plotting against every shopping mall. What’s worse, we’re starting to believe them.
This brings us to the biggest flaw in the government’s new anti-terrorism bill, now being rammed through Parliament at warped speed. It is preoccupied with apprehending the radicalized over the prevention of radicalization.
Consider the disturbing phenomenon of young women fleeing normal lives here to help ISIS warriors populate their Islamic state, which is particularly inexplicable to this father of three daughters.
The sad stories behind these startling transformations clearly show that the first line of attack is in the family home, in schools and in the mosque.
By the time the young woman reaches the airport check-in counter planning to decoy through Europe to her intended destination of Syria or Iraq, the damage has been done.
There needs to be a higher priority placed on helping families, teachers or imams thwart extremists in development instead of creating a CSIS with unlimited unconstitutional powers of disruption as lost causes head overseas.
In other words, the government should also be looking for a radicalization vaccine instead of a post-conversion antibiotic.
Granted, there are base elements in the legislation which have merit. A fearful public wants political action, even if existing police powers are do the job, and the bill wraps Canada in a new security blanket.
This is, after all, an election year and the big picture is to dazzle voters with shiny new spy agency powers to bust ISIS-bound would-be radicals.
But when it comes to detecting or reversing radicalization at the source, this government has tunnel vision.