Just over a year ago, on October 20th, 2014, 2 members of the Canadian Armed Forces were run down in a parking lot, one of whom later died. The perpetrater, Martin Rouleau, was an islamic convert turned terrorist.
A mere 2 days later, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau launched an attack on parliament, killing Cpl. Nathan
Cirillo, who was standing guard at the tomb of the unknown
Now, we all watch the reports on television about the attacks in Paris which have claimed over 120 lives to date and wonder "could this happen here?". Sadly, people seem to forget rather quickly. It has already happened here, on October 20th and October 22nd 2014. Sure, the death toll was nowhere near the same and the guilty parties seemed to be somewhat unorganized home grown terrorists, but we have to remember and take it seriously.
Our newly elected government has pledged to bring in 25 000 refugees from Terrorism plagued regions. Now, this is what Canadians do, we are known around the globe for being helpful. It's a big part of what makes up our identity. However, we can't assume that every one of them will be true refugees. I'm not saying that this is some big trojan horse plan by ISIS, but they would have to be crazy not to at least try to use it as such. We can screen all we want, but the risk that terrorists will get into the country along with legitimate refugees is real.
Now, debating political policy is not what this blog is about, nor is it the point of this post. The point is, it's time to stop forgetting events like those of last October. Canada was named as a target in an ISIS video, and we need to take that seriously. So if you ask me if something on the scale of the Paris attacks could happen here on Canadian soil, I would tell you yes, and you have to have your head in the sand to think otherwise.
The thought of a large scale terror attack worries me to some degree. I am not concerned about a group of terrorists breaking into my home to force me to join their cause, that's just not how they do things, but the threat of bombings or live shooters in public areas such as sports arenas or tourist attractions would not surprise me.
ISIS has long broken through international borders in two ways. First, by sneaking terrorist cells into populated cities across the globe, and secondly by recruiting members within their home countries. Certainly, the various spy agencies have their lists of suspects, but I'm fairly confident that these lists are incomplete. The only question about that is to what degree? For every suspected terroist being watched, how many are there that are still under the radar?
We ARE in a state of war. With war comes loss of life. Unfortunately, this war does not follow the usual rules of engagement. Soldiers are not the only targets, but civilians as well. Instead of targeting military or strategic locations, arenas and concert halls are bombed. Instead of planes, ships, and tanks delivering ordinance, bomb belts are the weapon of choice.