Security; Time to stump up
Ian's Rural Ramblings
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.