Se­cu­rity; Time to stump up

Ian's Ru­ral Ram­blings

The McLeod River Post - - Points of View - Ian McInnes

On Satur­day, Septem­ber 30, 2017 in Ed­mon­ton a man drove a Chevro­let Mal­ibu into a po­lice con­trolled bar­ri­cade, strik­ing an of­fi­cer and knock­ing him down. The driver left his ve­hi­cle and re­peat­edly stabbed the of­fi­cer be­fore run­ning off. Hours later at a check stop po­lice no­ticed that a U-Haul van driver’s name was sim­i­lar to the reg­is­tered driver of the Mal­ibu. A chase en­sued and the U-Haul van hit and in­jured four pedes­tri­ans be­tween Wayne Gret­zky Drive to Jasper Av­enue. A po­lice tac­ti­cal ma­noeu­vre flipped the van on its side to end the pur­suit.

Ab­du­lahi Hasan Sharif, 30 has been ar­rested and, ac­cord­ing to RCMP, charged with five counts of at­tempted mur­der, four counts of crim­i­nal flight caus­ing bod­ily harm and one count each of dan­ger­ous driv­ing and pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose. At the time of writ­ing no ter­ror­ism charges have been laid.

This is a shock­ing event in our cap­i­tal city. It is not, to me any­way, sur­pris­ing. Weapons can be any­thing and any­where in the hands of a per­son or per­sons that wishes to do us harm, phys­i­cally and/or phys­i­o­log­i­cally. They have lit­tle re­gard for the con­se­quences of their ac­tions to them­selves. Will such events hap­pen again? Sadly, I think so. There are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties to do harm that it’s im­pos­si­ble to guard against them all.

It looks like Sharif came to Canada in 2012 and it has sub­se­quently emerged that he was or­dered to be de­ported from the U.S. in 2011. Sharif had no crim­i­nal record in Canada but had a few driv­ing of­fence tick­ets. In many ter­ror­ism cases, and I’m not say­ing that the Ed­mon­ton one is un­til the au­thor­i­ties call it, some or all of the per­pe­tra­tors/sus­pects are known to the au­thor­i­ties in one coun­try, some­times many.

One might won­der how it could be that some­one who is known to au­thor­i­ties and is per­haps on a watch list could go on to per­form heinous deeds. My re­sponse would be, very eas­ily. Many agen­cies are in­volved in ter­ror­ism in­ves­ti­ga­tions/vig­i­lance, the chief one here be­ing the Cana­dian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice (CSIS). I’ve read that it takes be­tween high teens and mid twen­ties in num­bers of per­son­nel to ef­fec­tively watch one ter­ror­ism sus­pect. Ter­ror­ism in­ves­ti­ga­tions rapidly bal­loon out­wards to in­volve many more peo­ple. Some will be gen­uine sus­pects and many more will not. I guess my point here is that from a pure lo­gis­ti­cal point of view, given cur­rent re­sources, that it is im­pos­si­ble to watch all of the sus­pects, all of the time.

Ei­ther gov­ern­ments, any and all par­ties, must stump up a vast amount of money to sub­stan­tially in­crease the bud­gets and the per­son­nel num­bers of the se­cu­rity agen­cies. Or, and here’s the kicker to my cyn­i­cal fol­low the money mind, a judg­ment call must be made about the cost of the dam­age of the oc­ca­sional ter­ror­ist at­tack against bust­ing the bud­get on se­cu­rity. Which course do you think lead­ers will take? The al­ter­na­tive I sup­pose is a bru­tal, one size fits all, eth­nic and re­li­gion based de­ten­tion/re­lo­ca­tion. Choices, yes, but none are palat­able.

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