In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s address to the nation, he acknowledged that Canada was not immune to terrorism, but emphasized that there would be no safe haven for those who threaten the country. (Pic: Reuters)
In January 2013, strewn amid the rubble and debris left after a terrorist attack on a gas plant in the Algerian desert were the remains of two men who had traveled far from home to wage what they viewed as a holy war.
The men had been friends in high school in Ontario, Canada, before they set off on a journey in 2011 that would take them to Morocco, Mauritania, a terrorist training camp in Mali and, ultimately, to their deaths in the sands of Algeria.
The forces that drove the men, Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, from their sedate life in Canada have only gathered momentum since then, both in Canada and in other Western nations.
In recent months, more than 100 Canadians have sought out conflicts in foreign lands from Somalia to Syria, according to a government report.
The threat was brought home for Canadians first on Monday, when a man who was inspired by Islamic extremists based overseas used his car to run down and kill a soldier in Quebec. The man was later killed by the police.