Canadian Government Under Harper Reclaims Authoritarian Counterterrorism Powers

Security forces in Canada arrested two people on Monday afternoon and announced a terrorist plot backed by al Qaeda had been disrupted. The Federal Bureau Investigation had been working for the past year with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which tracked suspects who were allegedly planning to attack a passenger train headed from the United States to Toronto.

In the wake of the arrests, it was reported by Embassy in Canada that Canadian and US police agencies were “locked in private talks over how to effectively launch pilot projects that would allow American agents from organizations like the FBI and the US Drug Enforcement Administration to be accredited as police officers in Canada, with the power to arrest individuals on the street like any Canadian cop.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and conservatives also used the shock of the moment to pass restore authoritarian counterterrorism powers that had been part of anti-terrorism legislation, which had passed after the September 11th attacks. Yet, there has been essentially no coverage of these developments in US media. (In fact, because the men were tracked for a year, it was suspected the arrests may have been made on Monday to increase support for the bill.)

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