Photo Credit: Frank Gunn
Family members of Raed Jaser leave court in Toronto on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Jaser is accused of plotting to derail a train in Canada in the service of al-Qaida in Iran.

Here’s a follow up to to the discovery of a terror cell in Canada. Questions are now being asked there that highlight a series of governmental decisions about one (at least) of the two men accused of plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on an interurban train. They’re questions that ought to get some wider airing and they come from Canada’s minister of citizenship and immigration, Jason Kenney.

The questions are about Raed Jaser, 35, accused, along with Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of planning to derail a Via Rail passenger train in what the Canadian authorities are calling an “al Qaeda supported” attack. Terrorism-related charges [detailed here] have been brought against the two.

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From a CBC report, the government minister framed his concerns this way.

* Mohamed Jaser, with his wife, his son Jaser and two other children, travelled from Germany where they had been living, equipped with fake French passports, arriving in Canada on March 28, 1993. They applied immediately for asylum as refugees. Jaser was a boy of 10. He had been born in the United Arab Emirates, though he did not hold UAE citizenship. * The family’s request for refugee status was denied. They appealed, and must have succeeded because the report says they eventually became Canadian citizens.

* Jaser, however, did not – evidently because of a proclivity for engaging in crime. He had acquired five separate fraud-related criminal convictions and was also convicted of making death threats by the time the citizenship application was heard. These offences rendered him ineligible for citizenship.

* In 2004, the Canadian government served a deportation order on him. In court – despite the government’s claims that he should remain in detention – Jaser’s lawyer successfully argued that Jaser could not be deported because, as a Palestinian, he was stateless (though he was born in the United Arab Emirites – see below).

* Some time after that, Jaser received a pardon – why is not clear – and granted permanent residency status in Canada.

Kenney says, as minister of citizenship and immigration, that the pardon and permanent residency given as gifts to the accused terrorist happened because of “old policies.” Canada had recently legislated the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, a law designed to make it easier for Canada to expel foreigners who have faced six months or more in jail for a crime committed in Canada.

Some time after Raed Jaser got permanent residence (according to Canada’s Global News), his own father

became worried enough about his son’s religious views to ask others in the community for assistance that apparently never came through, and another two before a Toronto imam approached police through a lawyer, concerned about Jaser’s influence on youth. By the summer of 2012, he was under RCMP surveillance as part of an investigation that would ultimately see him and 30-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier arrested, accused of terrorist conspiracy and plotting to attack a passenger train… [more].

The parents’ story [sourcekeeps coming back to their Palestinianism:

Raed Jaser’s father, Mohammed Jaser, says he was born in Jaffa; moved with his parents to Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip as a child. Egyptian authorities refused to provide citizenship. The mother says she is a Palestinian, though born in Saudi Arabia.

The two married when she was 16, and lived in Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. She attended secretarial and business administration school. Mohammed, the father, was granted legal residence in Jordan.

Raed’s younger brothers were born in Jordan. In 1966, the Jasers all moved to United Arab Emirates. Raed was born there.

Mohammed Jaser worked there in a garage, then as a school teacher, then to an advertising and publishing firm, then to Al Syasa, a political newspaper. he describes being terrorized by UAE authorities. “We lived in fear. Palestinians in the Gulf became the target of abuse, random arrests, torture and beatings… We lived as outsiders, in fear of growing and hardening anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiments. Our lives were threatened and we were harassed.”

After 24 years in the UAE, the family moved to Germany in January 1991. “The Jaser children were denied asylum.” They again “lived as outsiders, in fear of growing and hardening anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiments. Our lives were threatened and we were harassed.”

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Frimet and Arnold Roth began writing and speaking publicly soon after the murder of their fifteen year-old daughter Malki Z"L in the Jerusalem Sbarro massacre, August 9, 2001 (Chaf Av, 5761). They have both been, and are, frequently interviewed for radio, television and the print media, including CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, and others. Their blog This Ongoing War deals with the under-appreciated price of living in a society afflicted by terrorism which, they contend, means the entire world. Frimet is a native of Queens, NY while her husband was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. They brought their family to settle in Jerusalem in 1988. They co-founded the Malki Foundation in 2001 and are deeply involved in its work as volunteers. They can be reached at thisoingoingwar@gmail.com .

10 COMMENTS

  1. As a victim of deliberate medical/surgical malpractice and now dying of Hepatitis "C", given me as a victim at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, 1985 (and diagnosed less than a year ago, no diagnostic possibility sooner than less than 3 years ago), and referred to as a "lying hypochondriac" at Kupat Cholim Meuchedet and Bituach Leumi in Jerusalem, and actually THROWN OUT of the Bituach Leumi main office downtown in Jerusalem for having the gall to come and claim illness, but undiagnosable only because of lack of current medical knowledge. The Israel Embassy in Canada refuses to assist me and has told me "not to contact them" in any way! My email is: eliezerdviralaphbet316@gmail.com Please feel free to contact me directly. Most cordially and sincerely, Mr. Eliezer Dvir

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