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Canadians can sleep well despite suicide bomb threats: Day

[PoliticsWatch updated 6:00 p.m. June 19, 2007]

OTTAWA  — Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day downplayed but did not dismiss a new video showing Taliban suicide bombers who have been trained to conduct attacks in NATO countries, including Canada. 
  
"When we see something like this, we do take it seriously," he said. 

Day suggested to reporters after question period Tuesday that the video may also be a propaganda ploy by the ousted Taliban regime. 

"(The Taliban) are trying through public relations means to worry the hearts of Canadians at home," he said. "The Taliban is also aware that we are slowly gaining the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan."

"It's a sign of desperation, but it's not a sign that can be dismissed."

On Monday evening, ABC News aired a video it obtained from a Pakistani journalist showing approximately 300 graduates of an alleged Taliban training camp for suicide bombers. The ceremony reportedly took place on June 9. 

The young potential bombers were broken up into groups that were to be sent to four NATO countries participating in the mission in Afghanistan, including one team allegedly headed for Canada. 

On the tape, Taliban commander Mansoor Dadullah told the graduates, 
"These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places. Why shouldn't we go after them?"

Day told reporters that the ability for those individuals shown on the tape to move internationally and arrive in Canada is "limited."

"The fact that our intelligence and the intelligence of many other countries already is capable of identifying individuals who are involved in those groups limits their ability to get in," he said. 

"We can never say that any system is 100 per cent fail-safe, but I can say I have a great deal of confidence in our security agencies and in how we deal with the possibility of terrorist attacks." 

"Canadians can sleep well at night knowing that we have very effective security abilities."

Although Canada was named as target in a 2002 tape from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, it has not been hit by a terrorist attack. 

Last year, Jim Judd, the head of CSIS, said in a report that a terror attack on Canadian soil was "now probable."

: Related Links

> ABC News: Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to Canada, U.S., Europe

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