One of the faces in the crowd (or more accurately, one of the pair of eyes seen through the slits in the burqa) was none other than Zaynab Khadr.
She was amongst the crowd of relatives gathered at the Toronto-area courthouse this past Saturday waiting for the appearances of 17 Canadian Muslims busted last Friday in Toronto. The accused were nabbed in a terrorist sting that authorities say prevented them from carrying out a plot to blow up various sites around Toronto with three tons of ammonium nitrate.
The name Zaynab Khadr may not be familiar to many Americans, but it is to terrorism analysts. Ms. Khadr, who appeared Saturday at the courthouse to advise and support the families of the accused along with well-known jihadist preacher Aly Hindy, is a member of what Daniel Pipes has called "Canada's First Family of Terrorism."
Her father, Ahmed Sa'id Khadr, was one of Osama bin Laden's closest lieutenants and a top al-Qaeda financier who received $325,000 from the Canadian government from 1988-1997 for his "charitable work" in Afghanistan. He was also involved in the 1995 bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan, was arrested by Pakistani authorities, and released only through the intervention of then-Canadian Prime Minister Jean-Paul ChrÃ©tien. Immediately after his release, he enrolled several of his sons in al-Qaeda operated terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. He was killed in a gun battle with Pakistani troops in 2003 near the Afghan border, during which his son (Zaynab's brother), Abdul, was also shot and paralyzed. Abdul and his mother live in Toronto.
But Zaynab shouldn't be judged for the sins of her family; she has her own activities to answer for. When she returned to Canada last year, Royal Canadian Mounted Police anti-terrorist officers seized her laptop, cell phone, and other documents which proved to be a rich treasure-trove of al-Qaeda intelligence. In response, she vehemently denied that the family had any ties to al-Qaeda and said that the information found in her possession wasn't hers.
At 26, Zaynab Khadr is a twice-divorced single mother. One former suitor was none other than a Sudanese terrorist who purchased one of the trucks used in the 1995 Egyptian embassy bombing in Pakistan. She has been accused by Canadian intelligence authorities of formerly helping her father funnel money for various al-Qaeda and for helping her brother, Abdullah, run an al-Qaeda training camp.
Osama bin Laden was also amongst the guests at her 1999 wedding. And that her family lived in bin Laden's compound in Afghanistan,
But, of course, her family doesn't have any al-Qaeda ties, Khadr insists.
When she isn't helping the families of terrorism suspects, Khadr spends her time pressuring the Canadian government to obtain the release of her youngest brother, Omar, who currently resides at Guanatanamo Bay. At 17-years-old, he is the youngest person in U.S. custody related to terrorist activities. When he was 15, he was the sole survivor of a battle between non-Afghan al-Qaeda fighters and the 19th U.S. Special Forces Group at Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. After the battle ended, Sergeant First Class Christopher J. Speer, a Special Forces medic, was attending to the wounded when Omar jumped up from between two mud-brick buildings, threw a grenade at Sgt. Speer, killing him. Omar was shot twice (non-fatally), and was found surrounded by a large cache of grenades, ammunition, and automatic weapons.
After Omar's capture, the National Post (one of Canada's largest circulation papers), wrote a glowing portrait of Omar, including quotes from his doting sister Zaynab, entitled "The Good Son."
The long ordeal of Canada's accommodation of the Khadr family perfectly illustrates the utter inability or unwillingness for our northern neighbors to deal with their internal terrorist threat. As recent days have shown, many Canadians are content to let their potentially fatal immigration policies and lunatic multiculturalism slowly asphyxiate their society. The suicidal intentions of our Canuck friends and neighbors would be all well and fine if it didn't also threaten to have homicidal consequences for America, as well.
By Patrick Poole
Patrick Poole is an author and public policy researcher. He also maintains a blog, "Existential Space," where he writes on a number of cultural, political and religious issues.