I read in disbelief the Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act does not make inciting terrorism a crime. While Canada wants to allow free speech, I think the voice of reason says promoting or inciting the death of others is NOT free speech.
A Toronto-area man has been posting messages on the Internet supporting attacks against Canadian soldiers on Canadian soil, drawing the attention of RCMP national security investigators.
Police have advised the Bangladeshi-Canadian that he is under investigation for incitement and facilitating terrorism after he repeatedly called the killing of Canadian troops in Canada "legitimate" and "well deserved."
No charges have been laid, but counterterrorism officers are apparently taking it seriously, and the case has set off a debate inside government over where to draw the line between free expression and incitement.
"The promotion of hate and violence has no place in Canadian society, and it is an offence under the Criminal Code," Stockwell Day, the Minister of Public Safety, responded when shown a sample of the postings. "Our government carefully balances the right to freedom of expression with our duty to protect Canadians from harm."
Alarm bells about the online writings went off last September after German authorities arrested three Islamic militants accused of planning to bomb the Ramstein Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport.
That same day, Salman Hossain posted several messages about the plot on the comment board of a Toronto-based Internet site where he is a frequent contributor.
Although Mr. Hossain claimed in one of his communications with the National Post that he made the comments in a private online chat room, the messages can easily be viewed by anyone using a simple Google search.
Despite being visited by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP and told he was under investigation, Mr. Hossain has continued to post messages approving of attacks on Canadian troops.
He rails at police, saying "you can't charge me for possessing a thought" and writes that he "honestly got a kick outta pissing off the RCMP HAHAHA i was laughing my ass off for provoking the RCMP."
The case comes as Canadian security agencies are struggling to deal with extremism among a minority of Muslim Canadians, particularly youths. Intelligence analysts believe much of this radicalization is occurring on the Internet.
Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) does not specifically outlaw incitement of terrorism, although such a measure has been discussed by MPs.
He said that while there was no guarantee a criminal case would succeed, prosecutors might want to go ahead anyway, if only to send a message that "you can't openly advocate the murder of Canadian soldiers.