What happens next?
What do France and Europe do in the wake of the attacks on Paris late last week?
Jon McComb spoke with someone who has some deep insight into the group or groups responsible for the the attacks.
Mubin Shaikh knows first-hand what’s happening behind the scenes. Before becoming an undercover agent for CSIS and RCMP, he was a jihadi.
Shaikh is co-author of the book, Undercover Jihadi, and was one of two undercover counter terrorism operatives for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the 2006 Toronto Terrorism case.
He was active with the Service for some years domestically, but the details of his activities are subject to national security restrictions and have never been disclosed to the public.
France and Belgium have large number of jihadi fighters
Shaikh says the problem is that France has the largest number of foreign fighters, and the only thing that can be done is the continual enforcement of travel, which can be difficult.
“There are hard enforcement measures that are being taken, you will see an increase in that.”
He also says there’s a real problem of ghettoization in France and Belgium as a result of alienation and marginalization of the (Muslim) communities.
“But, it’s also partly self-alienation and self-segregation, where members of the communities will generally go and live amongst each other in the same state, so that’s one part of the challenge.”
Canada’s refugee scenario not comparable to Europe
Shaikh says in terms of refugees, Canada is in a different position because there’s no geographic proximity to Syria.
“They have a much more serious problem, they’re literally having to take in people who are coming off boats. We don’t have that problem. We have a much more robust vetting procedure. We are looking at things like single-parent families, young children, elderly, and people who have relatives already here. It’s much much more difficult to be able to get on a plane than it is to get on a boat and land on shore.”
Boots on the ground?
“Fourteen years after 9-11 and how far have we succeeded since then?…We’re dealing with symptoms of bad intervention. If we do it right then we will more likely have a positive result. In that regard, ground troops are going to be required, but not Western ones. They should be local, regional armies that should do that. Muslim armies in particular, Muslim soldiers. Because (if it’s Western troops) it will very quickly be spun as ‘Look the Crusaders are here again’, it will alienate the communities…and we want to avoid that at all costs.”
In terms of Saudi Arabia, he says as long as we continue to be dependent on their oil, there’s not much we can do about their support of militant Islamists.