Friday, August 27, 2010

A Quiet Man

Hiva Alizadeh, right side. CBC picture.

On Wednesday, Canadian police swept up an alleged terror ring linked to radicalized elements of the Muslim community opposed to Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.

There is still a lot unknown about the arrests of the three people in Ottawa and London. Police say there are three other unnamed people they are looking for.

We will have to see in the coming months and probably years how the accused came to be under suspicion and what evidence there is to suggest they planned terrorist activities. And it will be up to the police to prove the conspiracy allegations in court.

One thing is clear: There are Canadians who have been radicalized and who have gravitated to jihad against their fellow Canadians.

One person among those arrested lived in Winnipeg. Hiva Alizadeh attended Red River College and studied electrical engineering, had a home in St. Vital and had a relationship with an aboriginal woman who was a convert to Islam.

Those that knew Hiva Alizadeh are shocked by his arrest. Many say he was a quiet man who didn't talk about politics. From 2003 to 2009 he worked at a halal meat shop, attended school and lived in an apartment with his wife and child. His wife became more devout during their time in St. Vital and she went from a long dress and head covering to full niqab which left only the eyes exposed.

Was this the beginning of a change within the man and the family to something radical? We may never know the full motivation but it is important to know why some people are drawn to the siren call of jihad and would rather fight than using freedoms they have in Canada to call attention to wrongs they feel need remedying.

A quiet man who quietly rages against the society he lives in and quietly plots to act against it violently is a pretty scary concept.

We must know where the radicalization takes place. It seems obvious that those who feel the same things are drawn to one another. How? It seems obvious that those who have these feelings of rage are guided by someone who manages to keep them below the radar while working together? Who?

After the arrests of so many would be terrorists in Canada over the years, I don't know if we are any closer to knowing what makes a terrorist in Canada.

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