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Canada spy agency says it disrupted suspected terror cell

TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Canadian intelligence officials confirmed Thursday that authorities busted up a small suspected terrorist cell in Toronto, including an Algerian man they allege is an explosives expert trained by al Qaeda.

Four Algerian men who had applied for refugee status in Canada were alleged members of the Islamic faction known as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, an Islamic group with ties to al Qaeda that is banned in Canada and Algeria.

Barbara Campion, a spokeswoman for Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the cell was dismantled by the service's counterterrorism agents, working together with the Canada Border Services Agency and local police.

"We've said publicly that there's a number of terrorist groups that are active on Canadian soil," Campion said. "Whether they're in involved in fund-raising, propaganda or recruitment, all these activities are terrorist-related and disruptive to the peace, order and good governance of Canada."

Campion said she could not reveal the men's names, nor details of their activities.

Some details were divulged during a closed-door meeting in Toronto on Monday with Canadian Security Intelligence Service, law enforcement officials and representatives of Ontario industries involved in public infrastructure, such as telephone, electricity and transportation.

Campion said a National Post journalist was the only reporter allowed to attend the workshop, and she confirmed details of the meeting in a article in the National Post.

Members of the group were deported this summer to U.S. border crossings, because they had entered Canada from the United States.

The key figure left Canada voluntarily in March 2004 after he was confronted by investigators, said the National Post.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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