The RCMP’s senior counterterrorism officer singled out radical preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki yesterday as a common thread among young Canadian extremists. Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said Awlaki, a Yemeni-American terrorist leader, had been popping up during investigations of “the individuals that are of concern to us.”
“He’s a major, major factor in radicalization,” Ass. Comm. Michaud, head of the RCMP’s National Security Criminal Investigations section, told the National Post in an interview.
“This individual, basically he’s born in the U.S., so he knows the Western culture and whatnot, he knows the words to use and how to get to the young people.”The RCMP have been investigating radicalized Canadians who have travelled to such countries as Somalia and Pakistan for terrorist training.