Friday, June 09, 2006

The Discontent of Canada

Today found myself in Ottowa in Canada.

Ottawa is not only the capital of this large and very diverse country, but has also developed as an impressive high-tech centre.

There are 1800 high tech firms employing 76 000 people in the Ottawa area. In view of the concentration of telecommunications research and development here, it is claimed that this is among the world's five top R & D locations.

For some time, the pages of the newspapers here have been filled with the challenges faced by the Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan. And yesterday's Ottowan Citizen has a first page huge photo of the funeral of the first female Canadian soldier killed over there.

It's hardly surprising that the deployment there has lead to an intense debate. The opposition Liberal party - which in government initiated the deployment - is now deeply split over the issue.

And the debate is most unlikely to go away.

But the big issue over there is of course the arrests of no less than 17 persons - 12 young men and five juveniles - for terrorism on Friday.

There is page after page in the newspapers on the issue. Wheren't these ordinary Canadian boys? How could that be possible in our tolerant and multicultural society? Or was it because of that is happened?

There are far more answers than questions.

How serious the two groups of plotters were remains to be seen when the trials start. On the surface, they all look rather amateurish. But so might the Madrid or London bombers have looked some months they really mounted their attacks.

They did try to buy significant amount of nitrogen fertilizer that can easily be made into a bomb. They did not suspect that the sellers were agents of the CSIS - the security service - and that their arrest was imminent.

The methods of terrorism adjusts constantly.

So must accordingly the methods of counter-terrism.