Monday, January 12, 2015

Canadian government warning of ISIS video challenged by US expert

The Canadian Press
Canadian officials said Sunday the Islamic State has released a video that calls for attacks on Western countries including Canada, but a prominent American intelligence expert raised doubts on whether there was anything new.

Rita Katz, the director of the Washington-based SITE intelligence group, said the video was comprised of old ISIL videos from August and September and it was not released by an ISIL media outlet or any of its media affiliated groups.

“This is one of several examples where law (enforcement) agencies with insufficient understanding of terrorist groups’ online infrastructure make an incorrect interpretation and cause an unnecessary and false alarm,” she said in an e-mail.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney issued a statement about the video earlier Sunday saying security agencies had measures in place to address any threats.

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana also sent a note to officers on Saturday instructing them to exercise a heightened level of caution and vigilance.

“Given the recent terror attacks in France and in Canada, this new threat should be taken seriously,” Cabana wrote.

According to the RCMP note, obtained by The Canadian Press, the nine-minute video was released on Saturday.

The video called on Muslims to kill police, military and intelligence personnel and citizens of various Western countries.

Some of its contents appeared to be the same as an ISIL video released last fall. By late Sunday, the video was not easily found online.

A couple of different videos that experts attributed to ISIL were posted online last year. A slickly produced video called for Muslims to launch attacks on Canadians similar to ones carried out in Ottawa and Montreal last Ocbober that left two Canadian soldiers dead.

Blaney was in Paris on Sunday to pay tribute to those killed in last week’s attacks on satirical newsmagazine Charlie Hebdo and other terrorist attacks in the French capital.

His office said Blaney would likely attend a global security summit announced Sunday by U.S. officials. The summit on Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C. was to gather U.S. allies to discuss ways to counteract violent extremism.

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