Terrorism in Canada
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Terrorism in Canada is about terrorist acts committed in Canada. Some terrorism is related to external events and nationalities. Some, such as the FLQ crisis in the 1960s, was related to internal tensions within the country.
Banned terrorist organizations
The Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act "provides measures for the Government of Canada to create a list of entities that: have knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity" or "knowingly acted on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with an entity that has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity." The Act specifically provides that "for the Governor in Council to establish by regulation a list on which, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety, any entity may be placed."
The government of Canada has banned more than 50 terrorist organizations. These include Al Qaeda, the Armed Islamic Group, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the International Sikh Youth Federation, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Kahane Chai, the Taliban, and Mujahedin e-Khalq. In 2019, Combat 18 and Blood & Honour were the first neo-Nazi groups in Canada to be banned by the government.
In April 2006, the Canadian government designated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist group. In December 2006, the Canadian government expanded the federal ban of Hezbollah from the purely militant wing to all 16 sub-organizations.
- April 17, 1840 - Benjamin Lett, Anglo-Irish-Canadian filibusterer, bombed the Brock's Monument near Queenston, Ontario that honoured British general Sir Isaac Brock. The explosion did serious and irreparable damage to the monument although it failed to bring it down.
- October 1864 - Agents of the Confederate Secret Service based in Montreal host a visit by John Wilkes Booth, the future assassin of US President Abraham Lincoln. Historians discuss the potential for a conspiracy to have partially formed during his time in Montreal. After police shot Booth, they found a money order for $184,000 drawn from the Montreal Branch of the Ontario Bank.
- April 7, 1868 - Thomas D'Arcy McGee is assassinated in Ottawa by an alleged Irish nationalist or Fenian rebel sympathizer named Patrick J. Whelan.
- November 25, 1965 - Croatian nationalists bomb the Yugoslavian consulate in Toronto.
- January 29, 1967 - The Yugoslavian embassy in Ottawa and the consulate in Toronto are among six Yugoslavian offices bombed in North America.
- September 3, 1984 - Montreal Central Station is bombed, killing 3 people and wounding more than 30. Thomas Bernard Brigham, an elderly retired American armed forces officer, claims to have been protesting Pope John Paul II's visit to Canada.
- April 9, 1989 - Charles Yacoub hijacks a bus and drives it to Parliament Hill to protest the Syrian invasion of Lebanon.
Relating to Cuba
- September 22, 1966 - A bazooka attack on the Cuban embassy in Ottawa, Ontario is made.
- October 5, 1966 - Anti-Castro forces bomb the offices of the Cuban trade delegation in Ottawa.
- May 31, 1967: A small bomb explodes at the Cuba Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal. The attack is attributed to Cuban Nationalist Action.
- October 15, 1967: A bomb explodes at the offices of the native trade delegation in Montreal, Quebec.
- May 29, 1969: A bomb is placed in the doorway of the Cuban consulate in Montreal, it fails to go off.
- July 12, 1971: A small bomb goes off at the offices of the native trade delegation in Montreal, Quebec.
- April 4, 1972: Cuban official Sergio Pérez Castillo is killed by an explosion at the Cuban consulate in Montreal, Quebec.
- January 21, 1974: A bomb explodes at the Cuban embassy in Ottawa. It is attributed to Orlando Bosch.
- September 22, 1976: An explosive device is thrown from a car at the Cuban consulate in Montreal.
- January 14, 1980: A large explosion significantly damages the Cuban consulate in Montreal.
Relating to militant Sikh aspirations for Khalistan
- June 23, 1985 - Both the 1985 Narita International Airport bombing and the Air India flight 182 explosion are believed to have been carried out by Sikh extremists living in Canada.
- Air India flight 182 leaving Montreal, Quebec's Mirabel International Airport is blown up mid-flight to London, England.
- an explosion at Tokyo Narita International Airport killed two baggage handlers, and injured four. The bomb was intended for Air India Flight 301, with 177 passengers and crew on board, bound for Bangkok International Airport.
- May 26, 1986 - An attempt is made in Vancouver, British Columbia to assassinate Malkiat Singh Sidhu, a cabinet minister in the Indian province of Punjab.
- August 28, 1988 - Indo-Canadian Times editor Tara Singh Hayer is shot and partially paralyzed, probably due to his statements connected to the Flight 182 investigation.
- November 18, 1998 - Hayer is assassinated.
Related to Armenian-Turkish relationships
- April 8, 1982 - Turkish Commercial Counsellor to Canada Kani Güngör is paralyzed after an attack by Armenian nationalists at his Ottawa, Ontario apartment.
- August 23, 1982 - Turkish military attaché to Canada, Col. Atilla Altıkat, is assassinated by Armenian militants in Ottawa while sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light.
- March 12, 1985 - A group of Armenians seize the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa, killing a Canadian security guard.
- October 14, 1982 - The anarchist group the Squamish Five, who were Canadian version of Direct Action, bombs a Litton Industries factory north of Toronto, Ontario that is manufacturing guidance devices for American cruise missiles, ten are injured.
- October 2008 to July 2009 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Six natural gas pipelines owned by Encana Corp. were bombed after letters were sent to a local newspaper opposing the gas industry.
- December 14, 1999 - Ahmed Ressam, known as the Millennium Bomber, was arrested upon entering the United States by a ferry from Victoria, British Columbia. He was smuggling explosives in his car from Canada as part of a plot to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on New Year's Eve 1999, as part of the foiled 2000 millennium attack plots.
- 2006 - In the 2006 Ontario terrorism plot, Canadian counter-terrorism forces arrested 18 terrorists (dubbed the "Toronto 18") inspired by al-Qaeda. They were accused of planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and to storm the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, the Canadian Parliament building, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) headquarters, and the parliamentary Peace Tower, to take hostages and to behead the Prime Minister and other leaders.
- August 2010 - Misbahuddin Ahmed of Ottawa was arrested (later convicted in July 2014) of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.
- 2013 - Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser of Montreal and Toronto, respectively, charged as part of an alleged Al Qaeda plot to derail a New York to Toronto train on the Canadian side of the border. Alleged plot was not imminent. Canadian Muslims helped to foil the alleged plot. The suspects said they were arrested based on their appearance.
- October 20, 2014 – On October 20, 2014, two Canadian Forces members were hit by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a recent Muslim convert in what is known as the 2014 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ramming attack. Warrant officer Patrice Vincent died of his injuries. Couture-Rouleau was eventually gunned down and killed.
- October 22, 2014 - Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a convert to Islam, fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, and then forced his way into Canada's parliament building, where he had a shootout with parliament security personnel. He was shot 31 times and died at the scene. Zehaf-Bibeau made a video prior to the attack in which he expressed his motives as being related "to Canada's foreign policy and in respect of his religious beliefs."
- August 10, 2016 - Aaron Driver was killed in Strathroy, Ontario, in a confrontation with police after detonating an explosive in the back seat of a taxi. The confrontation followed a tip from the FBI that Driver had made a "martyrdom video" and was planning an attack on an urban area.
- September 30, 2017 - 30-year-old Abdulahi Sharif drives into Edmonton police constable Mike Chernyk then stabs him near Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, fleeing and later hitting four pedestrians with a rental truck during a police pursuit in the 2017 Edmonton attack. Police are investigating the incident as an act of terrorism and confirmed the presence of an ISIS flag in the van that struck the police officer. Sharif was confirmed by RCMP assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand as a Somali national known to the RCMP and Edmonton police as having past displayed signs of extremism.
- February 21, 2020 - A 64-year-old woman was killed after being attacked by a man with a hammer in Toronto. The victim was chosen at random. The attacker left a note on the victim's body, expressing support for terrorism. He was arrested and charged with terrorism offences.
- 1989 - Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a rifle and a hunting knife, shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide. This attack is known as École Polytechnique massacre or Montreal massacre. He claimed he was "fighting feminism" and calling the women "a bunch of feminists," he shot all nine women in the room, killing six. He then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot.
- 2018 - Twenty-five-year-old Alek Minassian used a rented van to run over pedestrians as they walked along Yonge Street in North York, Toronto, killing 10 and injuring 16 people. Minassian's attack is believed to have been inspired by the wider Incel Movement, the state of being unable to find sexual partners.
- 1963-1969 - Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), a separatist group, starts a bombing campaign at the average rate of one every ten days. Targets included English owned businesses, banks, McGill University and the homes of prominent English speakers.
- April 21, 1963 FLQ bombing of Canadian Army Recruiting Centre in Montreal, killing Sgt. Wilfred V. O'Neil.
- late 1960s - FLQ places a bomb in a mailbox next to the Canadian Tire store on Wellington St in Ottawa, Ontario.
- February 13, 1969 - FLQ sets off a powerful bomb that rips through the Montreal Stock Exchange causing massive destruction and seriously injuring 27 people.
- February 22, 1969 - FLQ terrorist bomb explodes at Liberal Party social club in Montreal, injuring two people.
- June 24, 1970 - FLQ places a bomb in a window well of the National Defence Headquarters on Lisgar St in Ottawa, Ontario. The explosion killed a cleaning lady.
- October 5, 1970 - British diplomat James Cross and (on October 10) Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte are kidnapped by the FLQ in Montreal. (The dead body of Pierre Laporte was discovered in the trunk of a car in Montreal, Quebec on October 17, 1970, and the murderers were arrested on December 26, 1970; Cross was released on December 3, 1970.)
- September 20, 2000 - The Brigade d'autodéfense du français bombs the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Montreal where an English fundraiser was to be held.
- 2001 - Quebec - The FLQ/The Brigade d'autodéfense du français firebombs three "Second Cup" locations in Montreal. They were targeted because of the company's use of its incorporated English name "Second Cup". Rhéal Mathieu, a previously convicted FLQ terrorist was convicted for all three bombings. Seven McDonald's restaurants were also firebombed.
Opposition to Quebec nationalism
- May 8, 1984 - Soldier Denis Lortie, a federalist, entered the National Assembly with the intent of killing René Lévesque and the deputies of the Parti Québécois. By chance, he came in too early, so failed to kill any deputies. However he killed 3 other people and wounded 13. Unarmed employee René Jalbert negotiated with Lortie for several hours and convinced him to give up his gun and be arrested. Jalbert was decorated the next week.
- September 4, 2012 - The night of the Quebec provincial elections, Richard Bain, an anglophone Quebecer attempted to assassinate Parti Québécois leader and Premier elect Pauline Marois at a victory gathering in Montreal. He also set fire to the Metropolis concert hall where the event was being held. A man was killed and another was injured in the terrorist act. It is said that Bain's ultimate goal was to kill Marois following the Parti Québécois victory. Bain was arrested shortly after the attack. On August 23, 2016 Bain was found guilty of second-degree murder. On November 18, 2016 Bain was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole until he has served 20 years of that sentence.
- January 29, 2017 - During evening prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre mosque in Quebec City, Quebec, one gunman entered and opened fire on Muslim worshipers killing 6 people and injuring 19 (5 critically). The gunman called police from a second location about 20 minutes after the shooting and was arrested by Quebec police without incident. The gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette from Quebec City, was inspired by extreme right-wing views on Muslims and refugees, that he shared online and at Laval University.
- In 1983, Henry Morgentaler was attacked by a man wielding garden shears; the attack was blocked by feminist activist Judy Rebick, who was standing nearby.
- In 1992, Morgentaler's Toronto clinic was firebombed and sustained severe damage. The event occurred at night, so no one was injured, although a nearby bookstore was damaged. Appointments were switched to another clinic in Toronto and no abortions were prevented.
- On November 8, 1994, Vancouver doctor Garson Romalis was shot in the leg.
- On November 10, 1995, Dr. Hugh Short of Ancaster, Ontario was shot in the elbow.
- On November 11, 1997, Dr. Jack Fainman of Winnipeg was shot in the shoulder.
- On July 11, 2000, Dr. Romalis was stabbed by an unidentified assailant in the lobby of his clinic.
Sons of Freedom
- 1920s - Arson and bombing by Freedomites (also called Svobodniki or the Sons of Freedom), targeted wood structures and government buildings such as schools to protest materialism, and government pressure to school Svobodnik children
- 1924 - Peter Verigin was killed, aged 65, in a still-unsolved Canadian Pacific Railway train explosion on October 29, 1924 on the Kettle Valley Railway (now known locally as the Columbia and Western Railway) line near Farron, between Castlegar and Grand Forks, which also killed his 17-year-old female companion Marie Strelaeff, member of the provincial legislature John McKie, P.J Campbell, Hakim Singh, Harry J. Bishop, W. J. Armstrong, and Neil E. Armstrong. The government initially (during investigation) had stated the crime was perpetrated by people within the Doukhobor community, while the Doukhobors suspected Canadian government involvement. To date, it is still unknown who was responsible for the bombing.
- 1960s - Additional arson and bombings, mostly conducted in the nude, included the bombing of a railway bridge in Nelson, British Columbia in 1961.
- January 29, 1965 - Two U.S. jets (F-84s) being overhauled by Northwest Industries in Edmonton, Alberta were destroyed and a third damaged when a left-wing group protesting the Vietnam War dynamited the planes; a security guard was killed during the incident. See also Edmonton aircraft bombing.
- July 8, 1965 - A bomb destroyed Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21 flying from Vancouver to Whitehorse, Yukon killing all 52 people on board. Source of the bomb was never discovered.
- May 18, 1966 - Paul Joseph Chartier's attempt to bomb the House of Commons fails when the device goes off prematurely in a Centre Block washroom.
- April 20, 1995 - Roger Charles Bell places a bomb outside Province House, the Prince Edward Island legislature, injuring one.
- October 2001 - Shortly after anthrax letters were found in the US, Office of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell received letter with white dust that was part of Anthrax hoaxes.
- June 4, 2014 - Justin Bourque, a 24-year-old from Moncton, shot five officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), killing three and severely injuring two. He had reportedly previously posted pro-gun and anti-government messages.
- March 5, 2015 - While new anti-terrorism law was under consideration and months before federal election, four Conservative Party Members of Parliament (Denis Lebel, Steven Blaney, Christian Paradis and Maxime Bernier) received letters with white powder (Anthrax hoaxes) and message "Conservateurs, vous serez anéantis," which translates to "Conservatives, you will be annihilated" at their constituency offices in Quebec.
- List of conflicts in Canada
- Crime in Canada
- Anti-abortion violence in Canada
- Law enforcement in Canada
- Terrorism in the United States
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