True North Initiative: News Scan 10 03 17

TOP STORIES

Man charged with five counts of attempted murder for Edmonton attacks

The man accused of stabbing an Edmonton police constable on the weekend and running down four pedestrians on Jasper Avenue has not been charged with terrorism-related offences. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, four counts of criminal flight causing bodily harm, dangerous driving and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, RCMP announced at a news conference at Edmonton police headquarters on Monday. (CBC) (Global) (CNN) (BBC)

Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015

Police have criminally charged a Somali refugee who they say attacked an officer and ran down pedestrians with a truck — but are holding off on terrorism charges for now. RCMP Supt. Stacey Talbot, with Alberta’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, said the investigation of Abdulahi Hasan Sharif is still “in its infancy.” “The complexities of a terrorism investigation are vast,” Talbot said Monday. “We continue to collect and gather information. “As the investigation unfolds and further information is garnered and if additional charges are supported, they will be pursued at that time.” (Toronto Star) (CBS) (Boston Herald)

Edmonton attack: How police decide who is a terrorist threat and who isn’t

The RCMP’s acknowledgement that it had investigated Abdulahi Hassan Sharif, the Edmonton terror attack suspect, in 2015 but didn’t think he posed a threat has raised the question: How do police decide which extremists to take seriously? Sharif, a 30-year-old Somali refugee, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder and other offences stemming from Saturday night’s attack, police said on Monday. He was not charged with terrorism. The RCMP said the investigation was continuing. (Global)

Canada defends refugee system as Somali immigrant charged in attack

Canada defended its immigration and refugee vetting system on Monday after a Somali immigrant, who had drawn scrutiny for his alleged extremist views, was charged with attempted murder for a weekend vehicle and knife attack that injured five. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, is accused of running down a police officer with his car in Edmonton, Alberta, and then stabbing him repeatedly. He then ran down four pedestrians during an attempt to evade capture. (Reuters)

Toronto school board recalls, revises controversial Islamic guidebook

The Toronto District School Board is temporarily pulling an Islamic Heritage Month guidebook following complaints from Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada, the Toronto Sun has learned. The book, as I described in a recent column, is a robust 170-page document that encourages a great deal of religious intrusion in a classroom setting that’s otherwise supposed to be a non-religious environment. (Toronto Sun)

3 Canadians dead, 6 injured, 1 missing in Las Vegas

Two women from Alberta and a B.C. man were among the 59 people killed in Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, CTV News has confirmed. At least five other Canadians were wounded and one remains missing. Mechanic Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C. would have celebrated his 24th birthday on Friday. Now, his parents have headed to Nevada to retrieve his body. McIldoon’s grandmother, Ann Norman, told CTV Vancouver that her grandson was an only child with a big heart who worked hard, loved his family and looked after his girlfriend. (CTV) (Global)

Las Vegas shooting: Canadians among 59 dead, over 500 injured after attack at music festival

At least 59 people are dead, including two Canadians, and more than 500 were injured, after a lone gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor hotel room, raining bullets down on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night. Las Vegas police responded to a call of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino just after 10 p.m. local time. Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire across the street from inside the hotel. (Global)

Las Vegas attack is deadliest shooting in modern US history

A gunman opened fire on an outdoor festival on the Las Vegas strip, killing at least 58 and leaving more than 500 others wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Authorities in Las Vegas say Stephen Paddock fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street from a country music concert Sunday night. They say SWAT teams with explosives then stormed his room and found he had killed himself. (ABC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

ISIS supporter threatened to bomb RCMP HQ in Surrey, officer testifies

A gang-linked inmate in pretrial custody told police last December that his cell-mate Othman Hamdan threatened to "blow up" RCMP headquarters in Surrey, an immigration hearing heard Monday. Vancouver Police Detective Trevor Fraser said he was interviewing the inmate at North Fraser Pretrial Centre about an unrelated case when the man disclosed information about Hamdan — his roommate in segregation. Fraser testified before an Immigration and Refugee Board member that he didn't really know who Hamdan was, but later got information about the RCMP terrorism investigation into the former Fort St. John man. Fraser said the gang inmate told him Hamdan was angry with the work RCMP translators did in investigation pro-Islamic State Facebook posts Hamdan made. (Vancouver 24hrs)

U-Haul in Edmonton terror attacks: Does Canada need extra vehicle rental checks?

As terrorists increasingly resort to cars, vans and trucks to target civilians, should Canadians be subjected to extra checks before renting vehicles to make it harder for extremists to get behind the wheel? (Global)

Somali on trial in Canada over journalist's 2008 kidnap

A Somali man charged in the kidnapping of Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout is standing trial in an Ontario court. Ali Omar Ader was arrested in Ottawa in 2015 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He faces a hostage-taking charge for his alleged role as a negotiator in the kidnapping. (BBC)

Raising immigration levels would benefit Canada, study finds

Raising Canada’s current annual intake of 300,000 immigrants could greatly help Canadians overcome the mounting challenges posed by an aging population and low birth rate, the Conference Board of Canada says. “Our forecast suggests that the status quo would be best for improving real gross domestic product per capita, but would have the smallest impact on alleviating Canada’s economic and fiscal pressures,” it says in a new report, “450,000 Immigrants Annually?” released Monday. (Toronto Star)

Assault charge laid after violence erupts at Peterborough anti-racism rally

Police in Peterborough, Ont., say a 22-year-old man has been charged with assault causing bodily harm after a protest against a planned anti-immigration rally took a violent turn on Saturday.  Upwards of 500 people descended on Confederation Square to voice their discontent for the event, which had originally been slated to take place at the public park. (CBC)

As Quebec separatists watch, Canada shies from criticizing Spain over police violence at Catalan referendum

Canada has stopped short of criticizing the Spanish government after violent clashes and forced closures of polling stations during a Catalonia referendum Sunday. After 893 people and 33 police were injured Sunday in violence around the independence vote, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said reports of violence are “concerning,” but the question of Catalan independence is an “internal matter.” (National Post)

All the People Who Are Not Jagmeet Singh

But the celebration was short-lived when today, a political journalist for Canada's national broadcaster reminded us POC that to some white folks, we are all the same. This morning, Susan Bonner, host of CBC radio's The World at Six, tweeted "Canada's newest federal party leader scrums in Ottawa. That's @chrishallcbc 's head. He's co-hosting our special GG coverage" along with a photo of Navdeep Bains, Canada's minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Singh was nowhere to be seen. When people pointed out that Bains is not Singh, Bonner responded by tweeting, "that was Navdeep Bains TALKING about the new NDP leader. Of course." (VICE)

Feds receive more warnings over tax proposals as public consultation closes

With its public outreach winding down, the Trudeau government received fresh warnings Monday from major industry associations about the negative fallout from its controversial tax-reform proposals. Business leaders sent new letters to Ottawa insisting the proposed tax changes, which the Liberals have said are aimed at creating more fairness in the system, will cause considerable collateral damage in the economy. (CTV)

Vegas Shooter Passed All Federal Background Checks, Had Ingredients For BOMB In His Vehicle

Late Monday afternoon, NBC News reported that the two Nevada gun shops that sold firearms to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock stated that he had passed all relevant federal background checks. According to David Familglietti, owner of New Frontier Armory, Paddock bought a rifle and a shotgun. “The rifle was not fully automatic and a shotgun isn’t capable of shooting from where he was,” Famiglietti explained. “My staff takes their job very seriously and if there were any ‘red flags’ the sale would have halted immediately.” (Daily Wire) (Daily Mail)

Las Vegas shooting: Police search for gunman's motive

Police are working to establish the motive behind a mass shooting which left at least 59 dead and another 527 injured at a Las Vegas concert. Gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival on Sunday evening. (BBC)

ISIS Persists in Vegas Claim, Dubs Shooter 'Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki'

After federal officials announced today that they saw no nexus to international terrorism in the Las Vegas Strip massacre, the Islamic State doubled down with their claim that Stephen Paddock was theirs -- even granting the Mesquite, Nev., resident a nom de guerre. ISIS claimed through their Amaq news agency this morning that the "Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting coalition countries." They claimed he had converted to Islam recently. (PJ Media)

Iran sends tanks to border with Iraq's Kurdish region, Kurdish official says

Iran deployed a dozen tanks supported by artillery at its border with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Monday, a Kurdish official said, adding that the move was a dangerous escalation in the crisis triggered by Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence vote. (Reuters)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Toronto Sun: Extremist refugees need to be deported

Canadians were saddened to learn about the cowardly ISIS-style vehicular ramming that unfolded over the weekend in Edmonton. We’re used to seeing scenes like this in Europe. Obviously, they’re just as reprehensible when they happen across the Atlantic. But it’s still not a sight we’re used to seeing here. The scene that unfolded bore eerie resemblances to the 2014 attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu that left one Canadian Forces member dead and another injured. Thankfully, no one was killed this past weekend, but one brave police officer and several bystanders were injured. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Edmonton terror, then a mass-murder massacre in Vegas

So, the it-will-never-happen-here has again arrived in Canada. The ubiquitous “lone wolf,” an ISIS flag in his car, allegedly runs down a policeman in Edmonton, and then attempts to stab him to death before grabbing a large rental truck, and plowing down pedestrians on the city’s main thoroughfare. All now textbook terrorism. Charlottesville, Barcelona, London Bridge, Stockholm, Westminster Bridge, Nice, Berlin. (Toronto Sun)

Colby Cosh: What it's like when terrorism comes to your town

This is what I thought after I heard a couple dozen cop cars tear past my window on Saturday night, upon learning that a crazed killer was on the run from police and had left behind an ISIL flag: “Well, (unprintable word), I guess it’s our turn now.” If you live in a big city, you know yours is coming too. Terrorism is endemic now. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-21, an Act to amend the Customs Act (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet today to get another Briefing on the Issue of Asylum Seekers (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet today to study the Situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 Years after the End of the Cold War and Canada’s Development Finance Initiative (In Camera)

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet later tomorrow to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)