A Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries, the National Post has learned.
Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden, and Bangladesh.
This should send chills through Western populations and open eyes as to the nature of the terrorist enemy. Seventeen native-born Canadians, whose families apparently had no connection to radical Islam, managed to plug themselves into a network that spanned six nations and literally went around the world, despite their amateur status. How did this happen? How can a group this large and inexperienced make such inroads into a jihadi network?
In short, the network itself has become so decentralized that it is almost as easy as plugging a laptop into a wide-area network jack, figuratively as well as literally. With the demolition of al-Qaeda's functional leadership, the lack of direction has moved the jihadi movement from the hills of Afghanistan to a system of mosques and imams, preaching their own brand of hatred. Young men looking for a cause or an outlet for their frustrations can easily find these Muslim supremacists. If they can't find them physically, they can certainly find them with just a few minutes on the Internet. This particular group found each other, and then found like-minded prototerrorists in five other nations, including the US.
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