It was only a matter of time, but now Canada, a strong ally of the United States and freedom, has been struck with the brutal reality of radical Islamic jihadist terror.
This week not one but two separate terrorist attacks on Canada’s military personnel have ravished the country.
First on Monday, a radical Islamist mowed down two uniformed Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one and injuring the other.
Then yesterday, terror struck the capital of Canada as an armed terrorist killed a soldier standing guard at their equivalent of the tomb of the unknown soldier and then stormed the parliament building in Ottowa, Canada, unleashing a blitzkrieg of gunshots and terror in Canada’s seat of government.
Almost everyone immediately suspected this was the work of terrorists. It didn’t take long before the news reports began to confirm this suspicion.
The gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, is a recent convert to radical Islam. His radicalism was so apparent that he was reportedly kicked out of his own mosque. Canada, alerted to his radicalism, had placed him on a travel watch list and even revoked his passport. Reports indicate that he has been speaking with friends about his desire to travel to the Middle East and was an associate of a known (and wanted) jihadist who traveled to Syria to join ISIS. As Fox News and other have reported, “Zehaf-Bibeau was blocked from traveling by government officials who have been monitoring extremists to prevent them from joining the Islamic State.”
Then the bombshell. An ISIS-linked social media account posted a picture that “police sources confirmed” is in fact Zahaf-Bibeau masked and holding a shotgun, just minutes after he was identified as the gunman.
The fact that ISIS knew more about him than anyone in the media is a strong indication that this terrorist attack is at the very least inspired, if not directed, by ISIS.
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not mince words when he addressed his country last night. He said that “for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.” He was not afraid to call that attacker what he is, a “terrorist,” and reminded his nation that another soldier had been “killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.”
His resolve was firm:
[T]his week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.
We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country.
On our values, on our society, on us, Canadians, as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.
But let there be no misunderstanding.
We will not be intimidated.
Canada will never be intimidated.
And he had a message for the terrorists that this heinous attack “will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.”
That’s how a strong leader should respond in the face of radical Islamic terrorism.
President Obama’s response by contrast was tepid at best. He wasn’t sure whether to call this an act “of senseless violence or terrorism.” Even worse, in response to a separate terrorist attack that killed an American baby yesterday, the Obama Administration’s State Department urged “all sides to exercise restraint and maintain calm.” A Hamas terrorist plowed his car through a crowd injuring eight and killing an American baby in Jerusalem, in much the same way that an ISIS-affiliated terrorist drove down two soldiers in Canada earlier this week, and our response is “restraint” and “calm.”
It’s a stunning contrast. Thirteen years after America awoke to the reality of radical Islamic jihad, we’ve fallen back asleep. Will Canada now emerge as an international leader in the fight against terrorism?
I still hope and pray that Americans will reawaken and demand true leadership against Islamic terrorism. The very future of our nation as a free people depends on it.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ in the Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.