Opinion: “If self-confessed ISIL killer is not held accountable, who will be?”

John Ivison is normally a water-carrier for the Liberals but he raises some interesting points here:

Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi, his nom de guerre, talked in a disconcertingly bland North American accent about being taught how to behead people. “You had to know how to slice a head off,” he said.

He then depicted a group execution, in which he shot a middle-aged Muslim man in the back of the head. “It’s justified – you’re not going to be held accountable,” he said he told himself.

On another occasion, he took part in a community killing, stabbing a drug dealer in the heart. “The blood was warm and it sprayed everywhere,” he said. “I had to stab him multiple times.” 

He said the second killing left him feeling “disgusted” and determined to return to his parents in Canada. He escaped to Turkey, and then on to his grandparents’ home in Pakistan. He eventually made his way home to Canada, telling immigration authorities at the airport that he’d spent the past 10 months at university in Pakistan. “I said it in a way so that it didn’t seem I was lying,” he said.

The only positive in all this is that he said he would never return to a life of violence. “No, I’ve come too far from it,” he said.

But, regardless of his conversion to a more harmonious world-view, it should not be overlooked that there is a self-confessed killer on the loose in Canada’s biggest city – one who lied to immigration officials to get into the country. …

The Charter changes everything in Canada. British defence secretary Gavin Williamson sparked a debate in the U.K. after he said a “dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain”. Opinion polls suggested that 35 per cent of Britons felt jihadis should be treated as enemy combatants, making them legitimate targets, 42 per cent favoured stripping them of citizenship and only 11 per cent said they should be brought home to face sentencing and rehabilitation.

With the first two options off the table for the Canadian government, prosecution, monitoring and rehabilitation are the only tools left in the kit.

The vast majority of Canadians favour prosecution but cautious intelligence agencies and wary prosecutors mean the Public Prosecution Service has only charged two individuals to date.

The Huzaifa case is surely an opportunity to improve that strike rate.

Contrary to his own assertion as he pulled the trigger, the law demands he is held accountable.

If the justice system won’t prosecute in such an apparent slam-dunk case, what chance convictions in more contentious litigation?

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