Harper: Islamist terrorism greatest threat

Sept. 6, 2011 at 11:29 PM
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OTTAWA, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper sees Islamic terrorism as the greatest threat to Canada's security, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview that is to air in its entirety Thursday, the Conservative prime minister told the CBC he believes Canada is safer now than it was when al-Qaida terrorist cells attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. However, he said, "the major threat is still Islamicism."

"There are other threats out there, but that is the one that I can tell you occupies the security apparatus most regularly in terms of actual terrorist threats," Harper said.

He said while people think of Islamic terrorists as emanating from countries such as Afghanistan or the Middle East, "the truth is that threat exists all over the world" and home-grown Islamic radicals in Canada are "also something that we keep an eye on."

The prime minister said his government intends to resurrect anti-terrorism laws that sunset in 2007, including one allowing police to arrest terror suspects without a warrant and detain them for three days without charges, and another permitting judges to jail foot-dragging witnesses in some instances.

"We think those measures are necessary. We think they've been useful," he told the CBC. "And as you know … they're applied rarely, but there are times where they're needed."

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