Friday, June 20, 2008

Hezbollah 'sleeper cells' activated in Canada

Friday, June 20, 2008

TORONTO - Disturbing "chatter" picked up recently by intelligence agencies about attacks against Jewish targets by Canadian-linked supporters of Hezbollah has prompted an alert to Canada's Jewish community urging added caution.
Anti-terrorism officials, however, are officially downplaying a startling U.S. news report that says the banned terrorist organization, which is backed by Iran, has activated four suspected "sleeper cells" in Canada and that a known Hezbollah weapons expert was followed here and seen at a firing range south of Toronto.
An ABC News report yesterday said three U.S. law enforcement agencies confirmed being briefed on the developments.
"Suspected Hezbollah operatives have conducted recent surveillance on the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, and on several synagogues in Toronto, according to the officials," the ABC report said.
The report said one of the cells is known as "Rashedan" and that its members have been told to send their family members home to Lebanon.
When asked on Tuesday about the Hezbollah threats, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day confirmed that Canadian authorities were keeping an eye on the organization, which is listed as an outlawed terrorist group under Canadian law. "It's something that's watched," Mr. Day said.
Yesterday, Melisa Leclerc, a spokeswoman for Mr. Day, declined to be more specific.
"As you can appreciate, the minister cannot comment on operations that Canada's security agencies may or may not be undertaking," she said.
CSIS, Canada's spy agency, referred calls to Mr. Day's office.
RCMP Supt. Jamie Jagoe, one of the federal police force's top national security officers in Ontario, took issue with details of ABC's report.
"At the present time, there is no known specific threat to any specific location in the city of Toronto or anything like that. We have many ongoing investigations involving listed terrorist organizations," Supt. Jagoe said. "I can't get into specifics, but I can say we have lots of ongoing investigations."
Special Agent Richard Kolko of the Federal Bureau of Investigation expressed a similar view of the report.
"Hezbollah remains a threat to security in different parts of the world," he said. "The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces conduct investigations into different groups that potentially pose a threat to the U.S. or our interests overseas. However, the FBI and (Department of Homeland Security) have no specific intelligence about any group or so-called sleeper cells planning an attack."

Click here for the latest!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home