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Al-Qaeda's Canadian recruits 'highly prized': report

OTTAWA - The majority of al-Qaeda recruits in Canada are being trained at home, not abroad, making the terror network a direct threat to Canada, according to a recently declassified intelligence report.

The homegrown recruits are highly prized for their familiarity with Western societies, says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, obtained by the Toronto Star.

The group once trained recruits in the hills of Afghanistan, but the camps were dismantled as the U.S.-led "war on terror" became firmly established.

Michael Juneau-Katsuya, who spent 21 years as a CSIS agent, told the Star the U.S. campaign itself has fuelled anger and frustration in a new generation of potential al-Qaeda fighters.

Security investigators have responded to the trend of expanded recruitment by doing things like monitoring internet chat rooms for angry youths willing to join a cause, the report says.

They're also keeping their eyes on who's playing paintball. Paintball is mentioned in Canada's only arrest under new anti-terrorism legislation.

Mohammad Momin Khawaja, a Canadian who's charged in Britain with planning terrorist bombings, played paint ball near his Ottawa-area home in the summer of 2003.

Khawaja is being held without bail.

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