Canada cautions against complacency after Osama death

May 3rd, 2011 - 10:14 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Toronto, May 3 (IANS) Canadians Monday welcomed the death of Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden though there were no public celebrations - unlike in the US - of the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist by US special forces in Pakistan Sunday.

The families of some of the 24 Canadians killed in the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers said the killing of Osama bin Laden provides them some “measure of justice”.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “On Sept. 11, 2001, 24 Canadians were murdered in the al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center. The death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, reported today (Sunday) by President Obama, secures a measure of justice for these Canadians and their families.”

But he warned, “Sadly, others will take his place.”

Intelligence officials also cautioned that Canada and other countries could face retaliatory attacks from al-Qaeda’s ’sleeper cells.’

“The threat is there everywhere in the Western world. The thing we should pay much more attention to is the homegrown terrorism, rather than terrorism coming from abroad,” according Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

He said, “Security forces of the Western world, Canada included, will have to be, in the next weeks and months, extremely vigilant in trying to pick up any indicators and red flags that can show that there is an attack being prepared against us or any allies.”

Security was raised at important installations. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said it was keeping an eye on ‘the potential impacts’ and adjusting ’security measures for diplomatic properties . . . as required.’

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs also issued a travel advisory, warning Canadians abroad to be vigilant.

“Canadians residing in or travelling to areas where anti-Western violence could occur are advised to exercise a high degree of caution, monitor local news, avoid public gatherings and demonstrations, and stay away from areas where they may take place, as they could turn violent without warning,” said the advisory.

“The world is better off with him dead,” said the Globe and Mail in its editorial.

“An evil has been removed from the world. What else was it but evil to ask of a generation of Muslim youth in every country to join in cold-blooded murder? His call proved seductive in scores of countries, even Canada. But the vast majority rejected him, ” the paper said.

Canada, which joined the US-led coalition in Afghanistan in 2002, has so far lost more than 150 troops in the war against the Taliban.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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