Ottawa Using Intervention to Extinguish Muslim Extremism

January 30, 2009

Author: Stewart Bell

Source: National Post

The government has been using "counter-radicalization techniques" to steer Canadian Muslims away from extremism, according to a secret intelligence report obtained by the National Post.

The document outlines a little-known, government-wide, counter-radicalization strategy that aims to prevent al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists such as the London transit bombers from emerging within Canada.

The measures described in the report range from meeting with community and religious leaders and urging them to tackle radicalization to the more controversial tactic of intervention by police and security officials.

"The manifestation of Islamist terrorism in the West over the past few years has led to concerns over the radicalization of Western Muslims," begins the 13-page Canadian Security Intelligence Service document. "Terrorist plots in the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands, Canada and other Western countries have been planned or carried out by Muslims born, or raised, in those countries.... In an effort to prevent future attacks, government responses have begun to address strategies to counter radicalization in their communities."

Canadian officials have not typically discussed their initiatives to fight radicalization, and there is no obvious mention of the strategy on the government's official Web site.

The report lists four counter-radicalization techniques employed in Canada: "intervention with at-risk youth," "arrests and incarceration," "outreach" and "a whole of government approach."