Inspired by this post at Dust My Broom.
The kid bristles. “Speak for yourself. Canada is a safe country. We don’t have terrorists here. He (Khawaja) lives in Ottawa. He didn’t do anything to Ottawa, he didn’t do anything to Canada, he’s charged with being part of that terrorism thing in England, not here. When was there a terrorist attack in Canada? Why would a terrorist care about Canada? C’mon, get real.”
– Earl McRae, “No kidding about terrorism“. Edmonton Sun, June 25th, 2008.
Here are a few reasons terrorists care about Canada, culled from terrorist events on Canadian soil (or those that have resulted in Canadian fatalities) within my lifetime, plus or minus a decade:
- You travelled by train along a route that the Prime Minister was also due to travel. (FLQ bombs rail line, 1963)
- You are a civilian security officer at a federal building that happens to house a Canadian Forces recruiting centre. (FLQ, 1963)
- You happen to work at an establishment that terrorists think is easy to rob. (FLQ robs banks and businesses, 1963-64)
- You happen to own a small business and your ethnicity is objectionable to the terrorists. (FLQ bombs stores and businesses, 1964-66)
- You happen to work at a place the terrorists think is objectionable. (FLQ bombs Montreal Stock Exchange, 1969)
- You are the democratically elected mayor of a city. (FLQ bombs Jean Drapeau’s house, Montreal, 1969)
- You are a police officer. (FLQ kills policeman, 1969)
- You are a minister in the cabinet of the provincial government (FLQ kills Pierre Laporte, 1970)
- You work at a foreign embassy, consulate or trade delegation the terrorists do not like. (Anti-Castro terrorists bomb Cuban embassy, consulate or trade delegation offices in 1966-67, 1969, 1971-72, 1974, 1976 and 1980; Canadian security guard killed by Armenian terrorists occupying Turkish embassy, Ottawa, 1985; Iraqi MEK terrorists assault Iranian embassy in Ottawa, 1992)
- You use hydroelectric power and the terrorists think your generating station is environmentally damaging (Squamish Five bomb BC Hydro station, 1982)
- You work for a company that produces electronics that could be used in missiles (Squamish five bomb Litton plant, Toronto, 1982)
- You have watched porn (Squamish Five bomb adult video stores, 1982)
- You are a passenger aboard an aircraft owned by a government the terrorists do not like. (Terrorists bomb Air India 182, 1985).
- You are visiting Canada as an official representing a government the terrorists do not like. (Assassination attempt on Malkiat Singh Sidhu, Vancouver, 1986; Turkish commercial counselor attacked and paralysed in his Ottawa apartment, 1982; Turkish military attache killed in his car by Armenian terrorists, Ottawa, 1982)
- You take the subway or train to work, and the Pope will visit your country soon. (Thomas Bernard Brigham allegedly bombs Central Station, Montreal, 1984)
- You publish a newspaper the terrorists do not like (Tara Singh Hayer shot and paralysed, 1988)
And that’s not even including the most famous terrorist attack of this decade, on September 11, 2001.
The motivation can all be boiled down to three basic points, which are:
- You are doing something that somebody else doesn’t like.
- If it’s not you, somebody else is doing something someone doesn’t like, and you just happened to be in the area at the wrong time. You’re going to pay for it anyway, though.
- He or she is prepared to use violence to achieve their ends, isn’t going to give you the courtesy of an argument or warning beforehand, because they don’t think you deserve it.
And as history shows, no such people exist in Canada, nor would anyone want to injure Canadians unnecessarily.
UPDATE 201058Z DEC 2008: Mr. Andrew Herten emailed to note that despite two convictions, Mr. Brigham died after gaining his second appeal, thus the courts consider him to be innocent.