True North Initiative News Scan 11 01 2017


Manhattan Terror Attack Kills 8 and Injures 11

A driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer in what officials are calling the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001. The rampage ended when the motorist — whom the police identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29 — smashed into a school bus, jumped out of his truck and ran up and down the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before he was shot in the abdomen by the officer. He remained in critical condition on Tuesday evening. (NY Times) (Toronto Star) (Global) (CBC) (BBC) (Daily Mail

Note found in truck claims Manhattan attack done for ISIS, source says

Eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drove down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center Tuesday in Manhattan, New York City. The suspect was identified by two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. He's from Uzbekistan in Central Asia but had been living in the US since 2010, sources said. (CNN) (Daily Mail) (CBS)

Donald Trump orders tougher vetting for US entrants after New York truck attack kills eight

US President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to bolster the vetting of immigrants coming into the US after an Uzbek man allegedly drove a truck down a bike path in New York, killing eight and injuring almost a dozen more. “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Programme. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!,” the president said in a Twitter post Tuesday night. It was unclear what specifically Trump was ordering the Department of Homeland Security to do. Officials there referred questions to the White House, which declined to comment beyond a statement issued earlier in the day. (SCMP) (Pix 11)

Man who pleaded guilty to terror charge sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison

An Ontario man who travelled to Syria to support an Islamic militant group will spend another two years behind bars after pleading guilty to a terror charge, his lawyer said Tuesday. Kevin Omar Mohamed was sentenced in a Toronto court to four-and-a-half years in prison, with two-and-a-half years credit for time already served, his lawyer Paul Slansky said. He pleaded guilty in early June to one count of participating in or contributing to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity. (CBC) (CTV) (CTV)

How police hunted down an Ontario terror suspect from anonymous online posts

Ten weeks after the October 2014 terrorist attacks that targeted Canadian soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. and Ottawa, the so-called Islamic State received an encrypted message from Ontario. “All over town students walk around in uniform. They’re probably unarmed, but there is police squad cars constantly roaming the city, more than regular cities,” read the Jan. 2, 2015 dispatch. “It’s kind of important on my end to let me know when you’ve read.” (Global)

Couple used ISIL list to prepare for trip to Syria, terror trial told

The young couple on trial on terror-related charges at the Montreal courthouse, including an allegation they were preparing to leave Canada to join ISIL, apparently used a how-to guide published by the terrorist group while at least one of the accused made preparations to leave for Syria. (Montreal Gazette)

Canadian government set to unveil multi-year immigration plan

The Liberal government will release its 2018 immigration plan today, and it will break from the tradition of a one-year plan in favour of a multi-year forecast. The targets for economic migrants, refugees and family members will be tabled in the House of Commons this afternoon, and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen will hold a news conference in Toronto at 3:45 p.m. ET to answer questions on the plan. Hussen told CBC News the number for 2018 will not dip below what he called the "new normal" of 300,000 newcomers that was set in 2017. (CBC)

Canadian government will match private donations toward Rohingya refugee crisis

The federal government says that it will match every dollar Canadians donate to registered charities helping the Rohingya refugee crisis until Nov 28. These donations will be made to the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund. Bangladesh is now hosting the largest refugee camp in the world, said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development. Two months into the crisis, over 900,000 Rohingya and other minorities have fled the violence in Burma (also known as Myanmar) — with some estimates suggesting the number has crossed a million. (Toronto Star) (CBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canadian prisoner in China has been re-educated, sentence cut: party official

A Canadian imprisoned in China for more than a decade had his life sentenced reduced because he took part in a re-education program, a top Chinese Communist party official said Tuesday. Huseyin Celil, of southern Ontario, received a life sentence in 2007 for terrorism-related charges after a widely criticized trial that has strained Sino-Canadian relations over the course of two Conservative and Liberal governments. Celil was an advocate for China’s persecuted Uighur community who fled to Canada in 2000 and later became a citizen. (680 News) (Globe and Mail)

Visit to Canada by Pakistani politician with alleged militant links ignites concerns

A visit to Canada by a controversial Pakistani politician with alleged and unproven links to a designated terror group blamed for more than 150 deaths in the 2008 Mumbai attack — including those of two Canadians — has some people asking why he would be welcomed on a visit to Mississauga. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a member of Pakistan's national assembly, known to many simply as "Sheikh Rashid," was in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday for an event hosted by Canadian-Pakistani newspaper, the Urdu Times — an appearance expected to draw an audience of hundreds. (CBC)

21-year-old Canadian woman fights ISIS, saves lives in Rojava

Dilan Judi is a 21 year-old Canadian who has been in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) for more than two years. She says that she initially came here to help the revolution and the fight against ISIS as a member of the YPJ, and later moved to the medical unit of the force to help the wounded comrades. Judi has participated in several battles against ISIS including in Hasakah and the Tabka dam and she has been deployed in various posts since her arrival. (Rudaw)

For son and wife of Magnitsky, Canadian law is a step toward justice for all

In November, 2009, eight-year-old Nikita Magnitsky was hoping to write another letter to his imprisoned father, when his mother gave him the bad news. His father, Sergei, a Russian tax lawyer who had been jailed in Moscow for nearly a year, had died at the hands of prison staff. Nikita, now 16, and his mother, Natasha, are preparing to mark the eighth anniversary of Sergei's death. As some memories of Sergei fade, others linger, particularly those from that fateful day. (Globe and Mail)

Who owns what in the Liberal cabinet?

The political conversation in the nation’s capital has been dominated in recent weeks by questions of whether Bill Morneau has placed sufficient distance between his personal fortune and his actions as finance minister. Now, the microscope is veering toward other members of the Liberal cabinet. The scrutiny stems from the ongoing controversy over whether Morneau was in a conflict of interest for holding roughly $21 million in shares in his family business, human resources and pension giant Morneau Shepell, while promoting legislation that could benefit the company. (Toronto Star)

Tories say Harper's letter doesn't change their approach to NAFTA

Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole was sitting in the departure lounge at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., last week when his eyes landed on a story he wasn't expecting. "'Napping on NAFTA': Harper blasts Trudeau government handling of negotiations,"' read the headline on a Canadian Press story about a memo written by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. (CBC)

Feds announce $36.4M public education campaign on legalized pot

As plans to legalize marijuana move forward, the federal government is spending $36.4 million over the next five years on a marijuana education and awareness campaign. The campaign will aim to educate Canadians—youth in particular— about the health and safety risks of marijuana use, and drug-impaired driving, the government says. Tuesday's announcement was made by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and the Liberals' point man on pot, Bill Blair, who is parliamentary secretary to both the health minister and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. (CTV)

Infrastructure spending delay point to problems with Liberal program: Opposition

Opposition parties say that a plan to shift more than $2 billion worth of federal infrastructure spending points to problems with one of the government's cornerstone programs, despite what the Liberals say. The cash comes from planned spending in multiple years and multiple funds set up by the Liberals and the previous Conservative government, as well as large-scale projects, such as the Champlain Bridge replacement in Montreal. (CTV)

Morneau's 'conflict loophole' a 'huge error of judgment': former House law clerk

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s sponsorship of Bill C-27 and simultaneous ownership of $21 million in shares from Morneau Shepell was a "huge error of judgment," former House of Commons law clerk Rob Walsh says, regardless of it being cleared by the ethics commissioner. “I don’t understand how Mr. Morneau, and the other ministers as well, could think that they were complying with the spirit of the Conflict of Interest Act by holding assets through numbered companies . . . That just astounds me,” Walsh told CTV Power Play’s Don Martin. (CTV)

Feds need to go further to reunite families, activist says

The federal government is once again allowing immigrants to bring their university-age dependants to Canada. It is a step in the right direction, Winnipeg advocates say, but one that doesn’t go far enough. Last week, the federal Liberals restored the former immigration guideline that allows people to bring to Canada dependant children under the age of 22. It reversed a 2014 decision by the previous government that lowered the allowable age for dependants to those under 19. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Nicaragua man sentenced to time served for illegal re-entry; will soon be deported

A Nicaraguan man on Tuesday was sentenced to his time already served, 154 days, for illegally re-entering the United States and was released to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin the deportation process. Attorneys said Castillo had no ties to Montana, he was simply passing through en route to Canada. He was hoping to relocate north because he "had heard Canadian immigration authorities were more welcoming to someone in his position" than U.S. officials, his public defender said. (Great Falls Tribune)

Letting Islamic State jihadis return to the UK is like 'inviting the wolf to dinner', warns Briton who fought against the terror group

Having battled the extremists for the past three years alongside Syrian Democratic Forces, Macer Gifford said there was a 'real risk' those returning could carry out terror attacks. Earlier this month Max Hill QC spoke of 'losing a generation' by automatically using the courts to punish those who have travelled to the war zone, with the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation calling for a focus on 'reintegration'. (Daily Mail)

Jake Tapper Reminds Us That 'Allahu Akbar' Can Be Beautiful, as News Develops of NYC Terror Incident...

But meanwhile, CNN once again showed where its priorities were. As news broke that the driver was shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked these people, Jake Tapper wanted to remind his audience that "the Arabic chant 'Allahu Akbar,' God is great... sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances, and too often we hear it being said in moments like this." Sure, he did finish the sentence by talking about how we have heard this chant in moments of horror, but why even say the first part? Liberals like him always think they have to remind people that there are Muslims who are good — that "Allahu Akbar" can be beautiful. This piece of commentary was unnecessary and insulting during such a time of crisis. (PJ Media)

ISIS Calls for Attacks on Halloween Celebrations: 'Get Out Before It's Too Late'

A pro-ISIS media group circulated an image today of a knife dripping blood over the Eiffel Tower, calling on lone jihadists to attack on Halloween. "Enjoy their gathering," reads the text superimposed over the image. "Terrorize October 31." Added was the hashtag #Paslechoix: "no choice." Below that was the message, "Get out before it's too late."' (PJ Media)

Iran Threatens Ballistic Missile Strikes on American Forces, Can Hit ‘All U.S. Bases’

A top Iranian military commander has threatened to launch ballistic missile attacks on U.S. forces in the region amid a public effort by the Islamic Republic to show off its advanced missile capabilities, according to U.S. officials and regional reports. Iranian leaders disclosed that their advanced ballistic missile technology, which could be used as part of a nuclear weapons program, is sophisticated enough to strike U.S. forces up to nearly 1,300 miles, or 2,000 kilometers, away, which encompasses all U.S. bases in the region. (Free Beacon)



Tarek Fatah: Don't use divisive term 'Islamophobia,' expert tells MPs

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is a former U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr., and since 9/11, one of the few obstacles in the path of the international Islamism in North America that is led by admirers of the radical Muslim Brotherhood of the Arab World and the Jamaat-e-Islami in the Indian subcontinent. On Monday, Dr. Jasser, who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), appeared before the Heritage Committee of the House of Commons to share his views on the supposed anti-Islamophobia Motion 103 tabled by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid (Toronto Sun)

Charles Adler: Christian-bashing will feed Alberta NDP to the lions of Jason Kenney’s mind

Politics has been getting dirtier than usual in Alberta in the last couple of years. That can happen when the price of crude craters, a political dynasty implodes and a perfect storm of tremors produces a socialist government in a conservative province. But Alberta politics are about to go from above average dirty to downright filthy, with big consequences for the party in power. Here are three reasons why. (Global)

Susan Delacourt: Jason Kenney is ready to be Justin Trudeau's biggest problem

When Justin Trudeau went out looking for Conservative boxing partners several years back, Jason Kenney was probably not high on the list of potential opponents. So we can only imagine how that fight would have turned out. But now that the former immigration minister has become the new leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta, we’re probably going to see Kenney and Trudeau doing some epic (if metaphorical) rounds in the political boxing ring. (IPolitics)

Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau hiding behind a woman’s skirt

For a man who claims to be an avowed feminist, Justin Trudeau sure likes to hide behind a certain woman’s skirt. And so, apparently, do many in his cabinet, most particularly Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the infamously dubbed Willy Porno during his teenaged years at Toronto’s Senator O’Connor College School. (Toronto Sun)

Tom Parkin: Liberals more interested in protecting Morneau than Canadians' pensions

Imagine checking your bank balance to find your account had been drained. Or opening your kids’ education account to see a zero balance. Or logging into your retirement savings and finding it’s gone. Now imagine you know who took it. That politicians let them. That they wrote laws so courts can’t help you. Even that a top politician was benefiting from it. (Toronto Sun)

William Watson: Budget? What Budget? Ottawa’s new spending add-ons just won’t stop

In the interest of transparency, it says, Table A1.3 of last week’s fiscal update provides details of all “off-cycle” funding decisions — that is, all new spending Ottawa has committed to since this year’s budget, which came down March 22. That was 32 weeks ago. According to the table, there have been 43 tweaks to the spending plan. That’s one every five days if you include weekends; every 3.7 days if you don’t. (Financial Post)



-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow to study M-39, Immigration to Atlantic Canada

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet today to study Canada’s involvement in NATO