We have known for some time that Canadians were among the attackers of an Algerian gas plant back in January.
Now, CBC has reported the names of two of them: Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, two young men who grew up in London, Ontario.
The fact that this attack didn’t happen on Canadian soil should be of little comfort to Canadians. We failed to prevent an international terrorist movement from recruiting our young men, and we failed to prevent them from taking human life, in a particularly cruel hostage-taking.
Al-Qaeda-style terrorism is not a foreign entity we can keep out at the border. It’s here, and the response must be here as well as overseas.
There’s a difficult balance to strike between effective intelligence and surveillance on the one hand, and respect for fundamental civil liberties on the other.
Intelligence agencies and police should ask questions, but at a certain frequency or level of aggression, asking questions becomes harassment.
We have a responsibility to the rest of the world, though, to do our utmost to track the movements of cells within Canada while respecting the letter and spirit of constitutional rights.
Ottawa Ontario) Citizen