CSIS defends watching Somali mosques

Source: National Post

TORONTO - Canadian intelligence officers have been questioning Muslim youths who worship at Toronto’s Somali mosques, according to a Canadian Arab Federation leader.

Khaled Mouammar complained about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s interest in Somalis at a meeting between community representatives and counter-terrorism officials.

"There are a number — a large number — of Canadians who are in Somalia. What we’re trying to find out, amongst other things, are if Somalia is to degrade into what took place unfortunately in Lebanon last year, we don’t even have an idea how many Canadians are there," (CSIS official) Andrew Ellis said.

"We’re going to talk to people to find out whether, when Ayman al Zawahiri [al-Qaeda’s second- in-command] says that the next war is going to take place in Somalia, you now have our attention. We’re going to pay attention to it and we’re going to ask people questions."

Earlier this week, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day confirmed that several Canadians had gone to Somalia to fight alongside the country’s pro-al- Qaeda Islamic Courts Union.

Source: Canada Post, Feb 17, 2007

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