I have espousing about the mosques being recruitment centres for radicalization ~ not only that, but sending out their minions to "revert" our children. This story is chilling...
'He was a sitting target': Mother of Canadian Muslim convert says son recruited into Syrian conflict from Calgary mosque
Stewart Bell, National Post (June 20, 2013)
When her son left Calgary last November, his mother thought the 21-year-old Muslim convert had gone to study at a university in Egypt. Then two Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers came to her front door.
“We don’t think he’s in Egypt,” they told her. They showed her photos of his suspected associates. They said they’d been monitoring her son for some time and had reason to believe he might be involved with an extremist group.
A few days later, the CSIS officers came to her workplace and said they’d checked his travel history and confirmed he was not in Egypt. He’d flown instead to Istanbul and, from there, had probably crossed into Syria.
“He’s definitely with some kind of jihadist group,” the mother told the National Poston the condition she would not be publicly identified. “They call themselves the Muslim Brotherhood out here. And he was recruited from a mosque.”
As the war in Syria has dragged on, with almost daily reports of atrocities, recruits from across Canada have allegedly been making their way to the region to join the fight, sometimes alongside extremists loyal to al-Qaeda.
A Canadian man was reportedly one of several rebels killed by pro-Syrian forces on May 31, along with British and American fighters. Another Canadian, a Muslim convert who called himself Abu Muslim, appeared in a television documentary broadcast last week by Britain’s Channel 4.
It showed the Canadian raising an assault rifle in Allepo with the armed group Katiba al-Muhajireen, which is composed almost entirely of foreign fighters. Asked about his parents in Canada, he said, “On the one hand, they are happy I’m taking my own path, doing my own thing and helping people. At the same time, they don’t understand entirely why I’m here.”
The government isn’t sure how many Canadians are fighting in Syria. “It’s very difficult for us, actually, to tell who in fact is over there,” Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, said in an interview last week.
He said Canada’s lack of exit controls meant authorities could not track those who had traveled to the region. But he said community members had come forward to say “this individual has disappeared and we don’t believe it’s simply because he’s gone to visit http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/20/he-was-a-sitting-target-mother-of-canadian-muslim-convert-says-son-recruited-into-syrian-conflict-from-calgary-mosque/relatives in Europe.”
Channel 4 NewsCanadian Muslim convert “Abu Muslim” raises an assault rifle in Allepo with the armed group Katiba al-Muhajireen, in a documentary aired on Channel 4.
Several Canadians fighting in Syria have been reported killed but the minister said he was not aware of any verified deaths. “There could be hundreds of people dying in the course of a battle and the bodies are buried and that’s the end. We don’t have a police presence that would be able to say, ‘All right, let’s sort out the dead here.’”
The Alberta mother said she believed her son had been recruited by a leader in the western part of Calgary. She said the leader’s network, based in the city’s Westbrook neighborhood, had been under CSIS investigation for about two years.
“I guess they’ve managed to intervene in a couple of instances with the kids by talking to the parents, and the parents have stopped the kids from going and taking their passports but unfortunately, in our case, he was already gone,” she said.
The woman did not want her name published because she was concerned about the impact it could have on her three younger children, and particularly her son in Syria. Two other sources said they were aware of the case and believed her son had been recruited into the Syrian conflict.
“He was a sitting target,” the mother said.
Academically gifted and athletic but suffering from crippling anxiety, the Nova Scotia-born French Catholic Acadian was bored at school. He went through phases during which he dressed as a gangster, a jock and Frank Sinatra. “He was trying to find an identity,” she said.
“He had a rough go. He has a higher than normal IQ so his intelligence level and emotional intelligence level did not meet when he was going through those teen years, obviously, and he didn’t feel like he fit in anywhere.”
‘[CSIS] knew all along, they were following my son for two years apparently and … they didn’t tell me until three months after he’d gone’
Between the ages of 15 and 17, he barely left the house and his mother described him as agoraphobic. He home schooled on the Internet. He also started chatting online with a Muslim girl. But his anxiety prevented them from ever meeting and she broke it off.
He fell into depression and his mother found a suicide note. She called the police but they didn’t take it seriously until he turned up in hospital. He had been found unconscious in an alley, having swallowed a container of anti-freeze.
Two months later, he was released from hospital and started talking about converting to Islam. At first, his mother was relieved by his conversion. He calmed down and seemed to have found a place where he felt he fit in. He talked about becoming an imam.
But about two years ago, he moved to the west side of Calgary and left behind his former mosque, she said. “And that’s when everything started changing.” He lost touch with lifelong friends and became more “hard core and extreme,” she said.
“He started bringing up stuff about the rest of the world. He started getting a little bit more forceful when he was talking about the religion and how important it was, certain beliefs that all of a sudden he started coming across about having more than one wife, and just some not-so-Western cultural type things where he was kind of going off the wall a bit.”
(View the Channel 4 documentary:)
Once, he even said he’d feel proud if his nine-year-old brother were to go to Syria to fight. She worried where his newfound zeal might take him but she told herself this was Canada and things like that didn’t happen here.
Until the CSIS officers approached her, she had no idea he had embraced violence. She said if the investigators had only come to her sooner, she might have been able to talk him out of going to Syria.
“How are we as parents supposed to arm ourselves, or have an idea what’s going on so we can stop as much as we can on our end, if they’re not going to let us in on it. Because that’s what happened to me. They knew all along, they were following my son for two years apparently and … they didn’t tell me until three months after he’d gone.”
CSIS declined to comment on the case.
‘He was born and raised — I was born and raised — here. I mean, I’m as Canadian as Canadian gets’
She confronted her son about it when he called home in late February. “He just said he had priorities and that there are women and children being tortured there, and it couldn’t go on anymore and he had to do something productive with his life, which was better than he was doing here in Canada, and that he couldn’t stay in Canada with the way things are, the way the world is, and that the afterlife is a better place to be anyways so if that’s what his destiny is then that’s what he needs to do,” she said.
He has been gone seven months now and she worries constantly. Her cell phone never leaves her side. Sometimes when he calls, she can hear the war in the background. She offered to fly to Turkey to bring him home but he doesn’t want to leave Syria. She made him promise that someone would call her should anything happen to him.
She also said she had spoken to the RCMP, and sent letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader, asking for help. Mr. Harper’s office did not respond, she said, while Mr. Trudeau’s assistant wrote back that she was sorry but there was nothing the party could do.
“He was born and raised — I was born and raised — here,” the mother said. “I mean, I’m as Canadian as Canadian gets. And it’s a struggle to understand it and it’s hard. The longer it goes on the harder it gets,” she said. “You just get worn down.”
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