Friday, June 6, 2014

Canada’s Young Men Joining Foreign Jihad

Calgarian Salman Ashrafi, shown in an image distributed as part of a martyr's notice, killed himself in a 2013 Iraq suicide bombing that also took the lives of more than 40 people. (Twitter)
An alarming number of radicalized Canadians are joining foreign jihadi groups abroad, prompting calls for intervention as other Western nations boost efforts to stop their citizens from waging attacks at home or on foreign soil.

CBC News has learned of as many as two dozen Calgarians who, in the last two years, departed for Syria to join extremist rebel groups.
France intercepted four people suspected of trying to recruit militants to fight in Syria last week, following the arrest of a French citizen who joined a militant group in Syria and then returned to carry out a deadly shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels last month.

In April, Bosnia introduced a 10-year prison sentence for citizens caught fighting in foreign wars — a move aimed at curbing recruitment for the Syrian conflict.

That same month, British counterterrorism police appealed to Muslim women in a national campaign to dissuade male relatives from going to Syria to fight alongside extremist Islamist groups there.

Some suspected jihadis have been detained at the airport upon landing in the U.K.

But critics say there has been little public outreach in Canada to stop the radicalization from happening here, before young men leave these shores. Such pre-emptive measures may be overdue.

Mahdi Qasqas, a Calgary Muslim youth leader and psychologist, says early intervention is key to preventing young men from going overseas to kill themselves and others.

Read full story on cbc

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