Canadian converts to Islam being recruited by al Qaeda: Report

Press Trust of India

Toronto, May 15, 2005
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Canadian intelligence experts believe that converts to Islam in the country are becoming a major source of Al-Qaeda combatants and pose a risk to security.

An intelligence report from Canada's spy service, released to a daily said "there is a direct threat to Canada and Canadian interests from Al-Qaeda and related groups," and that those groups are attempting to expand their support in Canada.

"Converts are highly prized by terrorist groups for their familiarity with the West and relative ease at moving through Western society," the recently declassified Canadian Security Intelligence Service report said.

This trend is now bringing security investigators to the most unlikely places, such as monitoring Internet chat rooms for angry youths willing to join a cause. They're even keeping their eyes on who's playing paintball, 'Toronto Star' newspaper said.

"The perception that the West is attacking Islam on multiple fronts continues to anger the Muslim world and contributes to support for radical views. Converts in particular are prone to extreme views because of their new-found zeal."

When CSIS Director Jim Judd testified recently before the Senate committee reviewing Canada's anti-terrorism legislation, he noted there were now suspected terrorists in Canada that "have had no discernible previous link of any kind with the terrorist networks."

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