True North Initiative: News Scan 06 22 17


Canadian arrested in Flint stabbing; FBI investigating as act of terrorism

A 49-year-old Canadian from Montreal has been arrested after a law enforcement official was stabbed in the neck at an airport in Flint, Mich. An FBI official said the suspect spent time in an airport washroom before he emerged with a 30-centimetre serrated knife and stabbed airport police Lt. Jeff Neville in the neck. Witnesses said the suspect yelled "Allahu akbar” during the attack, the Arabic phrase for "God is great." After his arrest, the suspect told investigators in an interview something similar to, "you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die," said David Gelios, special agent in charge of the FBI Detroit division. (CTV) (Global News)

'Allahu Akbar'; Cdn charged in cop's stabbing at airport asked police why didn't they kill him, complaint says

A Canadian man from Tunisia shouted in Arabic before stabbing a police officer in the neck Wednesday at a Michigan airport, and referenced people being killed overseas during the attack that’s now being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal and court officials said. Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Montreal, was immediately taken into custody. A criminal complaint charging him with committing violence at an airport says Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why the officer didn’t kill him. (Toronto Sun) (Macleans)

Officials: Suspect a dual citizen of Canada, Tunisia

A published report says the man accused of stabbing a police officer at an airport in Flint, Michigan, is a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia. The Flint Journal, citing court officials, says Amor Ftouhi has lived in Montreal for the past 10 years with his wife and three children. Ftouhi also has family members living in Tunisia and Switzerland. (National Post)

ISIS urges attacks on Ramadan's Night of Power, Islam's holiest day

ISIS ramps up calls for attacks during holy month of Ramadan

Law enforcement officials around the world are on high alert this week as ISIS calls for a surge of civilian attacks during Islam’s “Night of Power,” the holiest day on the Islamic calendar, which this year begins Wednesday evening. Known in Arabic as “Laylat al-Qadr,” it marks the night during the holy month of Ramadan that Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Quran. (FOX News) (

Liberals' national security bill keeps Tories' lowered threshold for terrorism peace bonds

The Liberal government’s new national security bill is keeping the lower threshold brought in by the previous Conservative government when it comes to terrorism peace bonds, a court order that imposes conditions on suspected terrorist sympathizers. The Liberals are, however, scaling back the threshold for the more controversial and invasive power of pre-emptively detaining someone suspected of planning an attack — but this arrest power has apparently never been used in practice. (National Post)

Canadian security bill would forbid CSIS from torturing people when disrupting terror

The Liberal government’s new security bill adds torture, detention and serious destruction of property that would endanger a life to the list of things Canada’s spy agency cannot do when disrupting terror plots. The legislation introduced this week retains controversial powers for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), but the Liberal government says various amendments will provide safeguards and ensure public confidence. (Global)

Refugee board set to finally hear 'legacy' asylum claims

The Immigration and Refugee Board is finally taking action to process asylum claims languishing in the system under pre-2012 rules, some of which have been waiting to be heard for more than six years. There are about 5,500 so-called “legacy” claims filed before December 15, 2012, when the former Conservative government overhauled the asylum system by introducing statutory timelines to hear new claims and expedite removals of failed claimants — leaving the old cases on the back burner. (Toronto Star)

Pair facing terrorism charges to remain in prison

Two young Quebecers who are facing terrorism-related charges will remain behind bars pending their next court appearance in July. El Mahdi Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21, were handcuffed as they appeared in a Montreal courtroom today. They were arrested in April 2015 and denied bail soon after. (CTV)

Canadian special forces sniper kills an ISIS fighter from TWO MILES away in the longest confirmed kill shot in history

A Canadian sniper has beat the record for the longest confirmed kill in military history by picking off an ISIS fighter from a staggering 11,319 feet. The bullet was fired from a McMillan TAC-50 rifle set on a high-rise tower and took 10 seconds to travel the 2.14 miles towards the fighter, who was attacking Iraqi soldiers. This smashed the last record set by a Briton Craig Harrison, who killed a Taliban soldier with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle at a range of 8,120 feet(1.54 miles) in 2009. (Daily Mail) (Globe and Mail)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Saudi Arabia top non-U.S. destination for Canadian arms exports: federal report

Saudi Arabia has regained its title as Canada's top non-U.S. destination for exporting military goods after having been narrowly bumped last year by the United Kingdom, according to a newly release federal report on arms sales. The export of military goods report, prepared by Global Affairs Canada and tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, reveals that the Saudi government purchased over $142 million worth of Canadian arms. This accounted for nearly 20 per cent of all Canadian munitions exports reported in the annual filing. (CBC)

Punjab Police arrest two more with links to Khalistani module case

Citing investigations, the spokesperson said Canada-based Gurjeet Cheema had allegedly given two pistols, along with ammunition, to Gurpreet Singh alias Peet during his visit to India earlier this year. The latter had passed on one of the pistols to Simranjit Singh alias Nikka, for targeting of ‘anti-panthic’ (anti-Sikh) people, based in Punjab, he said. (Hindustan Times)

Asylum seeker tries to legally enter Canada, is turned away because of controversial agreement

What happens when an asylum seeker tries to cross into Canada properly? A single mom trying to escape gangs threatening her and her son in El Salvador took her life savings and made a run for safety to Canada. But when she showed up at the Emerson border crossing and asked for refugee protection, she was turned away. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Deportation a 'death sentence' for Guatemalan family living in Edmonton

A Guatemalan family living in Edmonton is set to be torn apart and deported. The family signed papers of their deportation Tuesday morning at an immigration office in Edmonton. On July 10, the family’s four youngest children will return to the United States where they have citizenship. The parents and oldest son will be deported back to Guatemala two days later, the difference in dates to allow the parents to say goodbye to their children. (National Post)

Canadian tech industry decries U.S. immigration ban, but sees recruiting opportunity

Shortly after President Donald Trump barred travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, messages started flying around Canada’s tech community. There was sadness and anger, as well as practical concerns about how to conduct business without the ability to travel to the States, for those who originated in the targetted countries. The discussion turned to what to do about it. (Financial Post)

Andrew Scheer Dodges Questions About Kellie Leitch's Refugee Tweet

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is leaving it to former rival and Tory MP Kellie Leitch to explain a tweet on the Syrian refugee program that sparked outrage this week. But when pressed on the matter at a session-ending press conference in Ottawa Wednesday, Scheer told reporters he wasn't sure Leitch actually supports the words she posted on social media. (Huffington Post)

A Tweet Stirs Up Canada’s Immigration Debate

Kellie Leitch, the Canadian firebrand who lost her recent effort to lead the Conservative Party, has ignited a bit of a firestorm with her online sharing of a column about a Syrian refugee who beat his wife with a hockey stick. “A battered wife and a bloodied hockey stick. That’s the legacy of Trudeau’s Syrian refugee program,” Ms. Leitch said on Twitter, quoting from the column in The Toronto Sun, a populist tabloid. (New York Times)

Hanna Böhman: Meet the Canadian woman joining forces with other women to fight ISIS

Hanna Böhman was working in motorcycle sales after a brief stint in modeling when she sought a higher purpose in life: fighting ISIS in Syria as part of an all-female group of Kurdish soldiers.  Böhman, a 48-year-old Canadian, joined the YPJ – the female brigade of the Kurdish People's Protection Units – after getting smuggled into Syria in 2015, learning how to use an AK-47 in a four-hour training session before being thrust onto the front lines. (FOX News)

Funeral services for a Niagara man who died in Syria fighting ISIS

The body of a man killed while fighting ISIS militants overseas has finally been put to rest in his hometown of Niagara Falls. Nazzareno Tassone’s body was escorted by the North Wall riders, a group of motorcycle riders, as well as police and members of the Kurdish community from Toronto. (CHCH)

Electric car subsidies in Ontario and Quebec costly and inefficient: report

Provincial subsidies to encourage the use of electric vehicles are the most expensive, least effective way to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Montreal Economic Institute says in a new report. The organization studied the subsidies offered by the governments of Quebec and Ontario and says together they could cost those provinces more than $17 billion by 2030, while cutting emissions in those provinces less than four per cent a year. (Global)

U.S. congressmen criticize Ottawa's oversight of Chinese high-tech takeovers

The head of the House Armed Services Committee in Washington is urging Ottawa to be “more vigilant” in its national-security process when Chinese investors want to buy Canadian high-tech firms that specialize in sophisticated military hardware. Representative Mac Thornberry was responding to The Globe and Mail reports on a bid by Hytera Communications Corp. of Shenzhen, China, to take over Vancouver-based Norsat International Inc., which sells satellite technology to the U.S. military and NATO. The government approved the sale without a formal national security review. (Globe and Mail)

Terrorism Fears Drive More in US to Avoid Crowds

Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults say the threat of terrorism makes them less willing to attend events where there are thousands of people. This is up from 27% in July 2011, the last time Gallup asked the question. It is also the highest level recorded since Gallup began asking the question after 9/11. (Gallup)

Donald Trump talks up solar panel plan for Mexico wall

US President Donald Trump has told supporters that his proposed wall along the border with Mexico could have solar panels fixed to it. Addressing a rally in Iowa, he said the panels would provide cheap energy and help to pay for the controversial wall. He suggested the plan was his own, saying: "Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea." (BBC)

Battle for Mosul: Destruction of al-Nuri mosque 'shows IS defeated'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is "an official declaration of defeat" by so-called Islamic State (IS). Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops. (BBC)



Candice Malcolm: Honest talk on immigration needed

There is a deliberate attempt to stifle debate and silence dissenting voices in today’s political climate. Nowhere is this unfortunate trend more evident than in discussions about immigration and integration. In Canada, elites in Liberal party circles and the mainstream media are so worried about a “backlash” against the Trudeau government’s open-border agenda, they’re willing to cover up the news and spread false information to protect Trudeau. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Giant oil company Total SA leaves Alberta — for Iran

Total SA, the massive oil company, have announced they are going to invest billions in Iran, even though it is one of the most odious regimes in the world. This should teach us two lessons here in Canada. First: There is a lot of money to be made in Iranian oil and gas. And Iran doesn’t care about the environment, human rights, or “social license.” (Rebel)

Arwen Falvey: I had to let my daughter go because of my job in the Canadian military

Whenever I am asked if I recommend military life to other women, my answer is always categorically: no. This usually surprises people who know me because I am a vocal feminist, a bit of a tomboy and a six-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). I believe to my core that sex and gender do not, and should not, limit what you can do in life. But women and the armed forces just don't mix. (CBC)

John Ivison: With voter support tumbling, a tactical reset is in order for Liberals

The House of Commons is out for summer and the great chamber will echo the sounds of tour groups, rather than heckling, for the next three months. Most Canadians would consider it no great mischief if a period of silence from all politicians were to follow. The Liberals, in particular, would be advised to get out of people’s faces. (National Post)

Chantal Hebert: Some parliamentary stars shine as one loses glow

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale took almost two years to come up with a revamped national security framework, but it was worth the wait. The act he put forward in the dying days of the spring session is not perfect, but it is a comprehensive attempt at improving the legislation he inherited from the previous Conservative government. (Toronto Star)

Andrew Coyne: Commons could use some sober second thought of its own over infrastructure bank

Monday the Senate came within a vote of splitting the budget bill in two, after a senator who had been leaning in favour of the amendment decided at the last minute to abstain. Appetite whetted, senators voted Wednesday to amend it in another way, deleting a provision that would have allowed federal excise taxes on alcohol to rise in line with inflation. (National Post)

Toronto Star: Rein in corrupt immigration consultants: Editorial

For decades experts have been condemning the profusion of unscrupulous and often unlicensed immigration consultants who dupe both their clients and the system, charging fees of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in the process. The problem was supposed to have been resolved in 2004 when the federal government invested $1.2 million to create the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. As the Star’s Nicholas Keung reports, the self-regulatory body should have brought professionalism to a business with a sleazy reputation. (Toronto Star)



-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet later today to study Bill S-226 (8:45AM EST) (Public)