Archive for the ‘Internal security’ Category
- If you only read ONE thing on this post …. “‘You are so loved': Ottawa lawyer describes trying to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo”
- “Nathan Cirillo will have a full military funeral in Hamilton, likely on Tuesday, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders say ….” – “Cpl. Nathan Cirillo will have full regimental funeral in Hamilton” – “Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and his best friend from Hamilton, Ont., were standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa because they “earned it” by being good soldiers, a member of their regiment said Thursday. And when a gunman fired point-blank at Cpl. Cirillo, his friend, Cpl. Branden Stevenson, continued being a good soldier ….” - “Nurse Margaret Lerhe tried to save Nathan Cirillo” –
- “How events unfolded” – “Ottawa shooter’s movements tracked in RCMP video” – “Ottawa gunman’s mad charge took less than 90 seconds” – “Video of Zehaf-Bibeau attack released”
- “As Ottawa shooting broke out, Stephen Harper hid in a closet, unknown to his own caucus in the same room” – “MPs fashioned spears out of flag poles after hearing shots”
- “Shooter not among 90 being probed, RCMP say” – “Suspected killer in Ottawa shootings had a disturbing side” – “Canada’s police reveal Zehaf-Bibeau: acted alone, delayed passport application possible motive, had radical links” – “Ottawa shooter attempted to rob McDonald’s with pointed stick” - “Suspected killer in Ottawa shootings had religious awakening” – “Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau wanted to travel to Syria” – “Ottawa gunman smoked crack on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, says shelter resident”
- “Susan Bibeau, Mother Of Suspected Gunman, Says She Is Crying For The Victims” – “Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s Mom: ‘I Am Mad At Our Son’ “ – “Susan Bibeau: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know” - “The unique anguish of a terrorist’s mother”
- “Canadian Muslim groups denounce violence, brace for backlash following Ottawa shooting” – “Canadian Muslim group calls Ottawa attacks ‘repulsive’ “ – Statement: “Canadian Muslims stand united with fellow citizens in condemning Ottawa attacks” – “In wake of Ottawa shootings, Police Chiefs send letters to Muslim leaders inviting Muslims to contact them if they fear “backlash” “
- “Factbox: Canadian links to militant plots or attacks”
- PM Statement (YouTube – includes standing ovation for Sergeant at Arms): “Canada will never yield to terrorism, & neither will the House of Commons. We carry on.”
- Commentary MILNEWS.ca’s “Canada, Let’s Do It Right” – “Attack in Ottawa cannot silence voice of the people” – “Canadian Muslims have a role to play in defeating ISIS ideology” – “Canada is not immune from Islamist terrorism” – “Security and freedom must always be balanced” - “In aftermath of Quebec terror, let’s see to all our lines of defence”
- Alternative/conspiracy theory commentary “Canada’s Attacks Were Predictable – Western Security Agencies are Prime Suspects” – “Gunmen in Ottawa : Questioning Canadian militarism” – “…. What is being treated as Canada’s 9/11 is a day that recalls the comments made half a century ago by the great Malcolm X, who commented that the assassination of President Kennedy was a case of “chickens coming home to roost,” a result of a “climate of hate” fostered by a U.S. political and corporate establishment regularly overthrowing governments and assassinating (or plotting against) a variety of leaders from Patrice Lumumba to Fidel Castro ….” - “Soldiers are legitimate targets.
- “Patrice Vincent, soldier killed in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, was close to retirement”
- “‘No indication’ radicalized Quebec man was violent, lawyer says”
Way Up North
- “CF-188s scrambled in Lithuania to intercept a Russian Il-20″ – “NATO intercepts Russian jets over Baltic Sea”
- “Best law enforcement, military snipers in world to compete in conference in Gastonia (North Carolina) — Teams from 13 states and Canada are looking to improve their skills and capture honors during a competition in North Carolina ….”
- “Omar Khadr wins right to sue federal government for conspiring with U.S.” – “The Education of Omar Khadr”
I’m not one to editorialize much. Still, I’m still coming to terms with the past couple of days, and felt a need to write something down.
“Shock” is a bit too strong a word, as is “overwhelmed”, but I do feel like I’m recovering from a serious psychic blow.
I’m saddened by the deaths of two Canadian soldiers in the past week. I can only thank the families for the service and sacrifice of their loved ones, share my condolences and prayers, and hope the families can eventually heal (although they say you never really fully “heal” from such a loss, you just manage to cope better with it).
I wonder what was going through the minds of the perpetrators – what would make them hate so, so fiercely that they’d want to kill with no regard for their own lives and safety. In one of the cases that we know of, family and others tried getting help, but to no avail. I agree with someone wiser than me on this one: without minimizing the horror of the most recent acts, it appears we may be dealing with people with various mental demons or pressures, locking onto the narrowest, harshest ideologies of people peddling their brand of Islam as a solution or escape. Those selling the extremist, West-hating brand of Islam bear their share of responsibility, but if there’s no help for the demons driving some to these jihad peddlars, the door remains open.
Part of me is thinking “good riddance to bad rubbish”, but at the same time, part of me is also thinking (naively?) “there’s GOT to be a better way to keep people from killing other people.”
Canada will never be the same again. No more easy access to the halls of power in Ottawa. No more wide-open doors and gates at military bases. One hopes no more (essentially) unarmed guards at the War Memorial.
Beyond that, brace yourself for calls for even harsher measures.
While I’m generally a “give folks a chance” kind of guy, a part of me is now saying, “if people are being watched because they went or wanted to go fight with Canada’s enemies, lock ‘em up until we can figure out a way to make everyone safe.” Yes, I know all about the need for the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, the thin edge of the wedge and all that. In spite of that, though, I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea of detaining less than 100 people in Canada who may be a risk to other Canadians based on security-agency-tracked behaviours. I’ll never be 100% comfortable with “preventitive detention”, but as I type this, it sounds better to me than it might have a week ago. Not in a forever-Guantanamo-like limbo, like some are suggesting, but long enough to figure out what to do. Some point to internment camps as not being the answer, and that’s true, given the “lock ‘em ALL up based on nationality” approach. You can also look at England’s experience during The Troubles, though, where temporary, short-term preventative detention schemes worked in a liberal democracy fighting terrorist attacks.
Another worry I have: the atmosphere of panic leading to poor policy decisions. Politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, are known for doing something to respond to a problem without solving the problem in question. I have no ideas on the larger issues of managing internal security threats in a very different world from that of the World Wars and even the Cold War. I leave that to (hopefully) greater minds than mine, with the hope that they get it right without “taking counsel in our fears.”
Finally, I truly hope that we don’t paint all Muslims with too broad a brush just because of the visibility and influence of the few, but far-reaching, jihad peddlars out there selling, to the best of my understanding, their diseased interpretations to the vulnerable. At times like these, it’s not unheard of for some to think the diseased faction speaks for all, and treat the non-diseased members as if they’re at fault. I like to think we’re bigger than that.
As I said before, Canada will never be the same again. Let’s keep Canada safe, but let’s do it right.
“…. our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.
Corporal Cirillo was killed today – murdered in cold blood – as he provided a ceremonial Honour Guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.
That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.
Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.
Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks ….”
“NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s Principal Secretary, Karl Bélanger, made the following statement:
“This morning’s horrifying attack has shocked all Canadians and shattered the peace of our nation’s capital. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the soldier killed and the people who were injured, and we are deeply grateful for the soldiers and law enforcement officials who quickly and courageously protected the public today.
As we seek to comprehend the enormity of this event, Canada stands united in grief and in resolute determination that we will not give in to fear. May we give strength to each other at this difficult time.
The leader of the Official Opposition has spoken to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and will be issuing a statement later.” “
And this, in part, from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau:
“…. This attack is unforgivable. Should any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they must be caught and be punished to the full force of our laws. I’ve extended an offer of full support to the government, along with any assistance members of our Party can provide at this time.
My thoughts and prayers, along with those of my colleagues, go out to the family and friends of the victims of today’s horrific shooting, including Corporal Nathan Frank Cirillo, who was standing dutifully, guarding one of our nation’s most sacred monuments.
Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel today over his loss.
To the brave women and men who rushed to the scene to confront the shooter, and help keep us safe, I can say only thank you. Thank you for your selfless courage and your professionalism in a time of crisis.
In the days that follow, there will be questions, anger, and perhaps confusion. This is natural, but we cannot let it get the better of us. Losing ourselves to fear and speculation is the intention of those who commit these heinous acts.
They mean to shake us. We will remain resolved ….”
More of the latest news here.
- The fallen: Corporal Nathan Cirillo, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, R.I.P.
- The shooter: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau – more here, here and here
- The shooter’s shooter: House of Commons Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers
- What some pro-jihadis are saying about the shooting on Twitter (CAVEAT: Don’t click on these unless you’re prepare to see mockery in English) here, here, here, here and here
- What foreign leaders are saying: U.S. National Security Council “POTUS expressed to PM Harper the American people’s solidarity with #Canada in the wake of attacks on Canadian Forces …. POTUS condemned the outrageous attacks, and reaffirmed the close friendship and alliance between the American and #Canadian people …. The President offered PM Harper any assistance #Canada needed in responding to these attacks” – UK PM David Cameron – Australia PM Tony Abbott – Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Some info from Ottawa police: “The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to reports of shooting incidents this morning in the downtown area. Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill. Contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre. One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his loved ones. Next of kin notification is underway and as such, the victim’s identification will not be released. One male suspect has also been confirmed deceased. There is no further update on injuries at this time. This is an ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time ….”
- A few overview stories: Ottawa Citizen – Globe & Mail – CBC.ca – Toronto Sun – Toronto Star – The Canadian Press
- Foreign media coverage: BBC – New York Times – National Public Radio (U.S.) – Associated Press – Reuters – Agence France-Presse – Aljazeera – Deutsche Welle
A gunman shot and wounded a soldier in Ottawa on Wednesday and then entered the country’s parliament buildings chased by police, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.
A suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building, a government minister said.
It was not clear whether the suspect had acted alone. Ottawa police said they were actively looking for one or more suspects.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a caucus meeting in parliament when gunfire erupted in the building, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a former policeman, told the Toronto Sun.
Harper was later safely removed from the building, and parliament was locked down.
Fantino said parliament’s head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), had shot a suspect dead.
“All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,” Fantino said. “He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.” ….
Also, there’s word that Government MP’s have been told the soldier who was shot died. CBC says that soldier may have been a Reserve soldier from Hamilton.
Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the fallen.
Meanwhile, Canadian military bases appear to be closed to the public, and NORAD is keeping an eye on our skies:
“We stand w/ our Canadian partners as scene unfolds in Ottawa. We stand resolute in defense of our 2 nations.First responders in our thoughts …. NORAD taking appropriate and prudent steps to ensure adequate posture to respond quickly to any incidents involving aviation in Canada.”
More of the latest here, as it continues to unfold.
Twitter is on fire with snippets of info right now, but here’s a consolidated report SO FAR:
Parliament Hill has been locked down in the wake of a shooting incident that left MPs and journalists huddled in secure rooms inside Centre Block as police hunted for the gunman.
Multiple reports say an unidentified gunman shot a soldier at the War Memorial before fleeing towards the Hill. MPs report seeing a body lying outside the entrance to the Library of Parliament inside Centre Block and that the shooter is dead. Journalists are reporting the building has been locked down and they’ve been gathered in the cafeteria for their safety.
According to one witness, an NDP MP reported hearing a gun battle outside their caucus door and the smell of gunpowder. Another MP reported hearing 30 shots fired inside Centre Block.
One witness reports seeing a man exit a vehicle parked on Wellington carrying an object wrapped in blankets, and that at least one of them headed to the War Memorial. Another witness quotes police saying two suspects approached the Hill in a brown car before running inside.
“I was stopped at a red light at the corner of Wellington St. and Elgin St. … In front of me is a little brown car parked beside the war memorial with no flashers on,” said one eyewitness. “I thought it was odd because there were no flashers. A man exited the front seat and opened the back seat on the passenger side. He pulls out what looked like a pile of blankets and ran around the back of the car to the memorial. I changed lanes to avoid his car, and then saw him running back towards the car with what looked like a pipe …”
MP John McKay said he was on his way to caucus when MPs were told to evacuate and that they heard multiple shots. He said he saw soldiers heading towards the Hill armed with assault rifles.
Witnesses report hearing more than a dozen shots fired. They also report seeing a man with rifle, wearing a light-coloured hoodie.
All MPs and senators are believed to be safe. A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he is off the Hill and is safe. Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair are also reportedly safe ….
More, as it unfolds – here’s hoping the shot soldier’s going to be OK.