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Terrorism in Canada

Banned terrorist organizations

The Canadian government has banned more than 50 terrorist organizations.[1] 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,[2] Kahane Chai, the Taliban, and Mujahedin e-Khalq.[3]

In 2006, Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day expanded the federal ban of Hezbollah from the purely militant wing to all 16 sub-organizations,[4] and declared the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a terrorist group.[5]

International terrorism

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

  • October 21, 1914 Canadian Immigration Branch official William Hopkinson, also serving as a police agent from Calcutta, was assassinated inside the provincial courthouse on Vancouver's West Georgia Street by Mewa Singh, a Sikh extremist who had been arrested in mid-July for attempting to smuggle weapons into Canada. On August 31 and September 3, two of Hopkinson's informants had been murdered in Vancouver.
  • 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.
  • 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

Other incidents

Domestic terrorism




  • 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.[7]


  • December 14, 1999 - Ahmed Ressam, known as the Millenium 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.[8][9]
  • 2013 - The head of Canada’s spy service Richard Fadden has told Parliament that the fragmenting of al-Qaeda has made him more “worried” about terrorist attacks in Canada. He warned that Canadians are involved in every al-Qaeda affiliate group and that these groups have mentioned Canada as a possible target.[10][11]
  • 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.[citation needed] Canadian Muslims helped to foil the alleged plot.[12] The suspects said they were arrested based on their appearance.[13][14]
  • July 1, 2013 - Canada Day participants at the British Columbia Provincial Legislature Buildings were targets of an alleged plot by Surrey residents John Stewart Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Korody, 29, to plant pressure-cooker bombs as inspired by al-Qaida. Investigation by RCMP and CSIS prevented implementation of the plot.[15]
  • 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 – On the morning of October 22, 2014 at 9:52am,[16] Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32 year old drug addict and self-convert to Islam, who was known to Canadian authorities, shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo[16] while the 24 year old stood guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario. In the aftermath of the attack, there was much speculation about whether the attack was an act of terrorism related to Canada’s recent joining in the armed coalition against ISIS, or [17] a criminal act of a mentally-deranged loner. Canadians are sharply split between those who say it was an act of terrorism or a result of the shooter's mental health issues arising from the lack of mental health access in the country.[18]

Quebec nationalism (and anti-nationalism)

  • 1963-1969 - Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) 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.
  • 1963 FLQ bombing of Canadian Army Recruiting Centre in Montreal, killing Sgt. Wilfred V. O'Neil.
  • late 1960s - 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • May 8, 1984 - Soldier Denis Lortie, a federalist, enters National Assembly with the intent of killing René Lévesque and the deputies of the Parti Québécois. Due to a great amount of chance, he came in too early and killed 0 deputies (but still 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 get arrested. Jalbert got decorated the next week.
  • 2000 - The Brigade d'autodéfense du français bombs a church 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.
  • 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, is currently incarcerated and was undergoing trial in 2014.

Sons of Freedom

  • 1920s - Arson and bombing by Freedomites (also called Svobodniki or the Sons of Freedom), targeted property of other Doukhobors and government buildings such as schools to exhibit their dislike of 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.[19]
  • 1960s - Additional arson and bombings, mostly conducted in the nude, included the bombing of a railway bridge in Nelson, British Columbia in 1961


See also


  1. ^ "Currently listed entities". Public Safety Canada. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Canada and Terrorism". Anti-Defamation League. January 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Canada bans Kahane Chai". Ynetnews. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Canada slaps ban on Hezbollah, now has 16 groups on terror list". Jewish Telegraph Agency. 17 December 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  5. ^ McLeod, Judi (12 April 2006). "Tamil Tigers finally outlawed in Canada". Canada Free Press. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Taylor, Phil (2011). Montreal and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth's Unexplained Visit to Montreal in October 1864. Bakara. ISBN 1926824083. 
  7. ^ "Canadian gas pipeline hit by 6th bomb". 4 July 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Misbahuddin Ahmed found guilty of 2 terrorism charges". CBC News. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Cobb, Chris (11 July 2014). "Guilty verdict in Misbahuddin Ahmed terror trial". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Freeze, Colin (11 February 2013). "Domestic terrorism becoming a greater concern for Canadian spy agency". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Parry, Tom (11 February 2013). "Al-Qaeda affiliates attracting Canadians, CSIS head says". CBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Kutty, Faisal (25 April 2013). "Muslims hold key to fighting terror". Toronto Star. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Doucet, Isabeau (23 April 2013). "Two arrested in Canada over alleged passenger train terrorist plot". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Doucet, Isabeau (23 April 2013). "Suspect in alleged Canadian terror plot claims charges 'based on appearances'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Canada Day crowd at B.C. legislature was target in thwarted bomb plot, police say". Victoria Times-Colonist. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Wingrove, Josh; Chase, Steven; Curry, Bill; Mahoney, Jill (22 October 2014). "Attack on Ottawa: PM Harper cites terrorist motive". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Stewart, Brian (23 October 2014). "Ottawa Parliament shooting: We've known this day was coming". CBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Maloney, Ryan (25 November 2014). "Canadians Split On Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's Motives For Ottawa Attack, Poll Suggests". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line: The Death of Peter Verigin". Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Edmonton Disaster Timetable" (PDF). City of Edmonton. [dead link]
  21. ^ Editor (31 October 2001). "Anthrax worries hit city". Kamloops This Week. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "White powder sent to Quebec Conservative MP harmless: police". CBC News. March 5, 2015. 

Further reading

  • Hamilton, D. et al. (2006). Inside Canadian Intelligence: Exposing the New Realities of Espionage and International Terrorism. Dundurn Press. ISBN 1-55002-608-9
  • Roach, Kent (2003). September 11: consequences for Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-2584-X. 
  • Ross, J.I. (1995). “The Rise and Fall of Quebecois Separatist Terrorism: A Qualitative Application of Factors from two Models,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 18, No. 4, July, pp. 285–297.
  • Ross, J.I. (1994). “Low-Intensity Conflict in the Peaceable Kingdom: The Attributes of International Terrorism in Canada, 1960-1990,” Conflict Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3, Summer, pp. 36–62.
  • Ross, J.I. (1992). “Attacking Terrorist Attacks: Initial Tests of the Contagion Between Domestic and International Terrorism in Canada,” Low Intensity Violence and Law Enforcement, Vol. 1, No. 2, Autumn, pp. 163–183.
  • Ross, J. I. (1988). “Attributes of Domestic Political Terrorism in Canada, 1960-1985,” Terrorism: An International Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, Fall, pp. 213–233.
  • Ross, J. I. (1988). “An Events Data Base on Political Terrorism in Canada: Some Conceptual and Methodological Problems,” Conflict Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2, Spring, pp. 47–65.

External links