Police and intelligence officials made the arrests late Friday night and early Saturday morning after the group accepted delivery of three tons of ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer than can be explosive if combined with fuel oil.
The same type of fertilizer was used in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. In that explosion, one ton of ammonium nitrate was used to make the bomb.
American officials in Washington and New York said they had been aware of the investigation and were informed of the arrests. American counterterrorism officials believe that some of the Canadians arrested might have had limited contact with two men from Georgia who were arrested earlier this year and charged with supporting terrorism or providing false information.
At a news conference on Saturday, Luc Portelance, the assistance director for operations at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the men "appear to have become adherents of a violent ideology inspired by Al Qaeda." But Canadian officials said there is no evidence linking the two groups.
A couple of obvious things first. Canadian authorities did a very commendable job in staying on top of the situation and swooping in at a moment that found the people involved neck deep in incriminating evidence. It doesn't happen often, but this is one of those occasions when the real life good guys pounced on the bad guys at what might have been the next to last minute to save the day. Rather then Canadians and Americans across ideological lines all celebrating the right-wing conservative fringe has found yet another lame reason to whip up the paranoia quotient and are breathing a sigh of relief that a story has come along to take the bloody tragedy of Haditha off the front page. A writer/editor for the Toronto Star writes,
Want an example of such hyperventilation? Check out Rosie DiManno's latest column in the Toronto Star. Here's how she begins: "
The Reaction, where this link is from also notes,
"The arrests that seemed to shock Canadians when they were announced by the Royal Canadian Mounted police on Saturday morning did not appear to create much lingering fear in the Toronto area outside the neighborhoods where the raids took place. The roads near the Islamic Center in Mississauga was closed this morning for a road race. And downtown Toronto was shut down by a charity bicycle ride."
Those that have a deep ideological stake in portraying any violent act or intentions of violence by individuals associated with the Muslim religion are just head over heels delighted with the Canadian terrorists story. To try and put Muslim crime in perspective is an impossible intellectual tasks for our home grown conservative extremists. It doesn't help that the media, just in the course of doing its job focuses a harsh light, that when focused on Muslims, or a teacher having sex with a student, or whatever the drama of the day is makes it seem to those glued to their television that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. That might be true, but not any more so then any other time in history. In fact the total picture of the world suggests that there is more peace and stability now, except the the quagmire of Iraq then even 30 years ago. If something horrible happens to the average American tomorrow, the source of that horror is most probably going to be a crime motivated by poverty, hate, ignorance, greed, or mental illness. Being the voice of reason isn't very glamorous, eskews the rage that fuels conservatism and requires stepping back and taking along hard look at the facts; the most difficult part of getting a little perspective is having to push aside our prejudices, our desire for simple easy answers, to wade through all the mental clutter that we're all susceptible to. This commenter from a reactionary conservative site called Jihad Watch exemplifies the worse that we have to deal with,
But when you read into his comment he's actually warning the West that Islam is a valid threat and when the population gets powerful enough from its percentage growth the Quran will force a Islamic Political party to form and work towards a Caliphate and Shariah-law ruled Nation.
Fatah also defended islam by claiming that Christians Killed close to 100 million people in the last century during Christian based wars.
Since the Quran is at the root of all these versions of islam then Muslims are living in denial or can't leave because ex-Muslims are apostates to be punished which includes death.
Islam and some sects of Christianity could all use some liberalizing, but it is difficult to accuse a religion of one billion people of being intent on the violent overthrow of the west. Could you imagine the carnage if one billion of the earth's inhabitants decided to declare war on everyone they thought was an "infidel". You wouldn't be sitting at your computer reading this and I wouldn't have time to write a blog except maybe from a bunker at my laptop in between watches. What didn't the media or the right-wing pundits on the net tell you today that might cast the events in Canada and the so-called Global War on terrorism in a different light, from Crime.org
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
In the last 24 hours 720 people were sexually assaulted. Christianity is the major religion in America and approximately 94% of the population believes in God, can we assume that of those sexual assaults the vast majority we perpetrated by Christians or at least non-atheists. Since the right-wing conservatives are so maliciously casual about cause and effect and what the real threats are to western civilization the average person wouldn't be completely out of line in assuming that Christians and those that believe in God are a real threat to our nation. More statistics,
In 2002, there were a total of 4,854 cases of aggravated assault in Washington DC. On a daily basis, this computes to 13.2 aggravated assaults a day
In Detroit, there were 41.79 murders per 100,000 people in 2002. This is alarmingly way above the national average rate of 5.6 for the same year
Keep in mind that we're looking at real statistics, real documented facts, rather then the latest news story and its intense magnification by conservatives, but we're being admittedly casual about the interpretations. What I see from this last set of numbers is that Americans are much better at killing each other then even the 9-11 terrorists. Just going by the numbers, could we be our own worse enemy.
Are Muslim's, Christians, Jews, or atheists doing the most harm to Amerca's children, A parent is the perpetrator in most homicides of children under age 5
Trends in infanticide by relationship with offender[D]
Note: Parents includes stepparents.
Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2002 —
* 31% were killed by fathers
* 30% were killed by mothers
* 23% were killed by male acquaintances
* 6% were killed by other relatives
* 3% were killed by strangers
Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 82% were killed by males.
This table is from Bureau of Justice Statistics. It's pretty clear who is a threat to children in America, parents. Male parents in particular. Let's play with the Jihad Watch comment,
But when you read into his comment he's actually warning America that male parents are a valid threat and when the population gets powerful enough from its percentage growth the Bible will force a Christian Political party to form and work towards a Theocracy headed by males and create a born-again Nation.
Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and other fundamentalists also defended Christianity by claiming that abortion Killed close to 100 million potential child beaters in the last century during the culture wars.
Since the Bible is at the root of all these versions of Christianity then christian child beaters are living in denial or can't leave because ex-christian child beaters are God's witnesses to be punished which includes death.
Despite the fact that various sects of Christianity form the majority of American religious worship, that the majority of Americans believe in an all powerful monotheistic God and are thus responsible for most murders, rape, and child abuse that version of the comment would still strike most people as a little absurd. I wrote in a previous post that I am one of those folks that think life in general is absurd and there is probably no way of stopping all of life's absurdities, but we really need to do better then the mind set that runs Jihad Watch or Fox News for that matter. Hate Crime Data
In 2004, 2,046 agencies reported 7,649 incidents involving 9,035 offenses. There were 7,642 single-bias incidents and 7 multiple-bias incidents. (See Tables 1 and 12.) Among the single-bias incidents, racially motivated crimes accounted for 52.9 percent, religious bias accounted for 18.0 percent, bias against sexual orientation accounted for 15.7 percent, and bias against ethnicity or national origin accounted for 12.7 percent. Disability bias motivated 0.7 percent of single-bias incidents.
The UCR Program categorizes offenses as crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against society. (See Methodology.) In 2004, law enforcement agencies reported 5,642 offenses as crimes against persons, which accounted for 62.4 percent of reported hate crimes. Agencies also reported 3,333 offenses, or 36.9 percent of the total, as crimes against property and 60 offenses, or 0.7 percent, as crimes against society. (Based on Table 2.)
By Bias Motivation
In 2004, racial bias motivated more than half (53.9 percent) of the 9,021 reported offenses within single-bias hate crime incidents; religious bias accounted for 16.4 percent; bias regarding sexual orientation, 15.6 percent; ethnicity or national origin, 13.3 percent; and disability bias, 0.8 percent.
So playing with statistics and lite satire aside, of the major threats facing our societal institutions like the Oklahoma City bombing and 9-11 are rogue events. They are not the events that the average person is going to face in their lifetime. If you're a person of color you face a far greater threat from the average stranger walking down the street then from even Al Queda. If your property is damaged it is almost certainly going to be from a criminal and you're the random target and the rest of the time it is going to be from someone that knows and hates you. It is very sad that the greatest threat to America's children is their parents. Imagine how boring that would be to conservatives to have a war against all the threats that face each and everyone of us, but all within a rational perspective of threats. Islamic jihadists are a threat, bad parents are a threat, American right-wingers like Timothy McVeigh are a threat, all of them of various degrees. Over reacting and reacting inappropriately to these are any threat is almost as bad as not acting at all. We all need to do something truly heroic in response to the menaces that face us, be rational. Don't look for easy scapegoats, don't join the eliminationists. The conservative over reaction to terrorism has created more terror and more terrorists.
The apparent cold-blooded killing last November of 24 Iraqi civilians by United States marines at Haditha will be hard to dispose of with another Washington damage control operation. The Iraqi government has made clear that it will not sit still for one, and neither should the American people. This affair cannot simply be dismissed as the spontaneous cruelty of a few bad men.
This is the nightmare that everyone worried about when the Iraq invasion took place. Critics of the war predicted that American troops would become an occupying force, unable to distinguish between innocent civilians and murderous insurgents, propelled down the same path that led the British to disaster in Northern Ireland and American troops to grief in Vietnam. The Bush administration understood the dangers too, but dismissed them out of its deep, unwarranted confidence that friendly Iraqis would quickly be able to take control of their own government and impose order on their own people.
* * *
Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict [slavery] might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.
– Abraham Lincoln: