Winnipeg mosques on high alert following alleged terror plot

April 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 26 (UPI) -- Mosques in Winnipeg, Manitoba, were on put on alert after the arrests of two men for allegedly planning a terror attack on a passenger train, officials said.

The suspects were accused of conspiring to carry out an "al-Qaida supported" attack, CBC News reported Friday.

Mosque leaders said the arrests prompted heightened caution in Winnipeg's Muslim community.

"I'm not worried about a setback. I'm not worried about a backlash," said Idris Knapp, the head of Central Mosque. "Basically we're just more cautious."

Shahina Siddiqui of the Islamic Social Services Association said there had not been any sort of backlash against Muslims in Winnipeg.

Siddiqui said young people are often recruited by extremist groups online.

"The security of Canada is our security and none of the parents want to lose their young people to either gangs or to radical violent organizations," she said.

The Islamic Social Services Association is scheduled to have meetings with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police this summer to educate Muslims in Winnipeg about the dangers of online recruiting, Siddiqui said.

Educating parents is a good deterrent to extremist recruitment, she said.

"Just as we tell them how to look for signs of gang recruitment, we have information that can help parents find out if their kids are getting radicalized in the negative sense, in the violent sense," Siddiqui said.

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