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RCMP tracking ‘high-risk’ Canadians to prevent radicalized youths from joining foreign terrorist groups



By Stewart Bell
Monday, April 28, 2014

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Canadians at risk of joining foreign terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere are now being tracked under a program led by the RCMP, a senior counter-terrorism officer has revealed in an interview.

The program has brought together police and federal agencies to identify “high-risk travellers” and disrupt their plans using methods such as denying them passports, Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said.

The no-fly list, immigration proceedings and criminal charges are also among the tools available to prevent radicalized youths from leaving for conflict zones like Syria, Somalia and North Africa, he said.

The head of national security investigations at the RCMP,  Assistant Commissioner Malizia disclosed the existence of the High Risk Traveller Case Management system in an interview with the

He also acknowledged that in cases where police lacked sufficient evidence to lay criminal charges, government officials were turning to “mitigation” tactics to thwart would-be terrorists.

“Charges, that’s what we’re aiming for. But if we can do a disruption, we will. We certainly won’t shy away from that,” he said. “I cannot think of, in the CT [counter-terrorism] realm, a higher priority for us. We are absolutely totally focused on each high-risk traveller.”

Charges, that’s what we’re aiming for


Officials are using the term “high-risk traveler” because not all those being tracked are leaving Canada explicitly to take up arms. Some are seeking religious education, but because they are heading to regions where they are vulnerable to recruitment, they are also considered at risk.

Like its Western allies, Canada has been struggling to deal with a growing number of radicalized men in their 20s who want to travel to Syria to join extremist groups aligned with Al-Qaeda.


 





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