Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Prosecute man for Web posts, Senator urges; Ontario student called for attacks against Canadian soldiers

National Post
Fri 01 Feb 2008
Page: A5
Section: Canada
Byline: Stewart Bell

A Mississauga man who has been posting messages online supporting attacks against military targets in Canada should "absolutely" be prosecuted, the chairman of the Senate National Security and Defence Committee said yesterday. Comparing the comments to "shouting fire in a theatre," Senator Colin Kenny said if Crown prosecutors are unable to convict the Bangladeshi-Canadian for condoning the killing of Canadian soldiers, the law should be revisited. "I don’t think that any free speech case is going to be a slam dunk and I am surprised that the Crown is setting that high a standard before they will undertake a prosecution," said the Senator, also a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee. The Liberal Senator made the comments after reading a sample of the Internet postings of a University of Toronto at Mississauga student who is under RCMP investigation for calling attacks against soldiers in Canada a "legitimate" way to force Ottawa to withdraw from Afghanistan. Asked if he felt charges were warranted, Mr. Kenny said: "I absolutely think that, and the question that I ask is, if he survived a court test I think that’s fine. We’ve cleared something up and as Parliamentarians we know where we stand and whether we need to adjust the law or not. "If he does not survive the court test and is convicted, that’s a message to folks that talking like that isn’t very smart." The RCMP informed Sal-man Hossain last September that he was being investigated for incitement and facilitating terrorism after he wrote that he supports attacking Canadian soldiers on Canadian soil as a tactic for forcing Ottawa to pull out of Afghanistan. He has also written many derogatory comments about Jews. Mr. Hossain could not be reached yesterday. Contacted earlier in the week, he declined to comment on the advice of his lawyer. In his online postings, he has asserted he has a right to express his opinions. Counterterrorism investigators took an interest in him after three Islamist militants were arrested in Germany for plotting to bomb the Ramstein Air Base and Frankfurt Airport. That same day, Mr. Hossain went online and wrote that: "we should do that here in Canada. Kill as many western soldiers as well so that they think twice before entering foreign countries on behalf of their Jew masters." But four months later, no charges have been laid and prosecutors and police are struggling over the boundary between the free expression of beliefs and the incitement of terrorist violence. The case comes amid rising concerns about radicalization among a minority of Muslim Canadian youths. Military bases have been eyed by terrorists in several countries, including Canada and the United States. "With the exception of Dwyer Hill [the Ottawa home of Canada’s JTF-2 special forces] I think that you’d have to have a lot of resources expended to protect our bases," Mr. Kenny said. sbell@nationalpost.com