The National Post has done yeoman work by assembling a timeline of the Khadr family‘s activities. Some incidents stand out as noteworthy, when viewed in hindsight. The first is the December 1995 arrest of patriarch Ahmed Said Khadr, for his alleged participation in the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan. The second is the January 1996 intervention of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (really no more than a request for proper habeas corpus), resulting in the elder Khadr’s release.
Reasonable people can disagree on Omar Khadr’s combatant status and treatment. For my part, I believe he was indoctrinated as a child into a hateful ideology, but also that that ideology is highly resistant to rehabilitation and now renders him a security risk to the nation.
What seems to be beyond dispute is that from 1996 onward, Ahmed Said Khadr and his wife Maha Elsamnah took some pains to move their family into close proximity with al-Qaeda leadership, and to have their young brood trained to fight.
One potential timeline item that is notable for its absence is any hint of prosecution or child welfare action against Maha Elsamnah. Surely a parent who encourages their minority-aged children to be trained as combatants in a treasonous cause ought, at the very least, to be considered unfit. How is it that none of the other Khadr brood were taken from their warped mother’s care?