#CyberFLASH: Debate over security bill C-51 rages at committee

Bill C-51 Protest,A Toronto police officer working on the front lines of counter-terrorism gave parliamentarians an unsettling glimpse Tuesday of the threat the country faces.

Insp. Steve Irwin began with the former case of the Toronto 18, in which several people were convicted for plotting to bomb major public and government sites in and around Toronto. Their aim was to provoke Canada’s military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“That was generated locally,” Irwin told a Commons committee studying the government’s proposed anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51. It “was inspired by individuals in a small group.”

A decade later, Islamic jihad is a relentless, sophisticated and global phenomenon.

Via the Internet and other means, “people from all over the world are inspiring and teaching and providing for how to beat our (security) systems (and) how to speak and not break the (hate) laws and ultimately lure mostly young, vulnerable people” into joining Islamists’ holy war against Canada and the West.

C-51 proposes to make it a crime to knowingly advocate or promote the commission of a terrorist offence, however general or vague. It’s a needed change, Irwin told the MPs.

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