Monday, September 14, 2009

"Blame Canada...?"

Our northern neighbors hardly seem threatening wit all that maple syrup and those handsome mounted police, eh? But like I recently tweeted on Twitter (re: terrorism in Belgium and Sweden), terrorism can, will and is happening just about everywhere you look these days.

Even in Canada.

The massive American border to the north is shared with a country that plays open host to more then fifty different terrorist groups, boast some of the world’s most simplistic (and most commonly abused) asylum laws utilized by 250,000 individuals each year, and that currently has 40,000 active arrest warrants for immigrants who have not appeared in court for their designated asylum trial.

(By the way, all that is required to be allowed to enter Canada on the condition of asylum is a declaration affirming your necessity; then they give you a court date, a pat on the back, and send you on your way.)

Muslims in Canada represent less then 2% of the general population and less then 1% of the prison population but a leaked Canadian government report from 2007 revealed that the spread of radical Islam and the recruitment and indoctrination of prisoners is occurring at a rate much quickly then the government would like.

The report also revealed that approximately 60% of all prisoners charged with terrorism related offenses are incarcerated with the general population.

This is a problem, and I’ll tell you why.

There are two strategies for dealing with terrorists or extremists in prison: concentrate and isolate or separate and disperse. Isolating and concentrating imprisoned terrorists is problematic because there is strength in numbers and they could find a way to exploit the situation; separating and dispersing imprisoned terrorists who accumulate too much power provides them the opportunity to continue to spread their extremist message. The dispersal strategy also has its limit in terms of space.

A senior British prison official told the press, “If prisoners are concentrated they get more organized. If something went wrong, it could go disastrously wrong.” And the Director-General of the British Prison Service also warned against “ a strategy of concentrating convicted terrorists.”

But even with the isolation strategy, there is the potential for prison guards to be corrupted or even radicalized. This is called “Para-radicalization,” in which, because prison is an this exploitative environment… "even prison employees can be unwitting players who can be cajoled, bribed or coerced into transmitting message and materials without being aware of their real purpose."

(Quote from Dr. Gregory Saathoff; to read all of his Congressional Testimony, click here.)

In its seminal piece of radicalization (called, "Dangerous Convictions") the Anti-Defamation League made a statement I find to be of the utmost importance:

“Convicts are not nearly so insulated fro the rest of society as many American would like to believe, nor are Americans somehow unaffected by what foes on inside the prisons walls… Putting criminals in jail does not make us immune to their effects."

Prison in Canada may seem like a far off place, but it is important to remember the real threat does not stem from those still incarcerated, but rather what the radical few will do upon release.

Just last week a British scholar reminded the press, "it just takes one or two."

So as the kids from South Park might say…

(Just kidding)

1 comment:

  1. You are right, I totally agree with you. We starting to see the same problem in Iceland now, as the Icelandic government is starting to give refuge to people with big black shadow behind their backs. Iceland is a small island, every person counts.