Recent Attacks Targeting Canadian Soldiers Offer Politicians Rationale to Boost Security Policies and Erode Civil Liberties

Posted Oct. 29, 2014

MP3 Interview with Beau Grosscup, professor of Political Science at California State University, Chico, conducted by Scott Harris

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Attacks on soldiers in Canada last week that resulted in two deaths, one in Ottawa and the other in a town in Quebec – were the focus of U.S. and world attention, and fears about a possible connection to the terrorist group ISIS on the offensive in both Iraq and Syria. The first attack occurred on Oct. 20, when a recent convert to Islam, Martin Couture Rouleau, who was on a government monitoring list and whose passport was seized, drove his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one before being shot to death by police. The second incident occurred two days later on Oct. 22, when a soldier guarding Canada's war memorial was shot dead. The attacker, Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau, another recent Muslim convert, then entered the Canadian Parliament building where he was killed by the legislature's sergeant-at-arms. Zehaf-Bibeau left behind a videotape that authorities say is evidence that the shooting was driven by politics and ideological motives.

Both attacks occurred only days after the Canadian government had sent six jet fighters to assist the U.S. in its air campaign against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper responded to the attacks by introducing new anti-terrorism legislation, dubbed the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act, which gives the nation's domestic spy agency explicit power to carry out its activities around the world, request revocation of citizenship and provide legal protection to individuals who provide evidence to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Harper said this measure and additional legislation to come would be expedited in view of the recent attacks.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Beau Grosscup, professor of political science at California State University, Chico and author of the book, "The Newest Explosions of Terrorism." Here, he discusses the recent attacks in Canada and the concern that these terrorist incidents will be used as a justification to further militarize government security policies and erode civil liberties.

See more information on the book, "The Newest Explosions of Terrorism".

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