Clip of Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper: Mr. Speaker this was a despicable act of violence that acts against not just this soldier and his colleagues but frankly against our very values as a civilized democracy. Mr. Speaker we will continue to stand with the men and women of the armed forces who defend us against these threats.
Brian Lilley: Prime Minister Steven Harper during question period earlier today. Now earlier today one of the two soldiers hit by the car during an apparent terrorist attack died from his injuries. The driver of the car, a 25-year-old man known as Martin Rouleau, was shot dead by police yesterday. Steven Emerson is with the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He joins us from Washington, DC. Steven I know that you've been following the, I don't know what to call it, the evolution of terrorist attacks and tactics over the last few years. And I've been warning that this type of lone wolf issue is what we would see come to Canada ad ISIS exhorted its followers. Do we see expect to see more of this in Canada, United States, other Western countries?
Steve Emerson: Well it's always hard to predict it but if we look at trends we can definitely see that attacks on military targets in the West are increasing dramatically. Last year we saw the hacking of two British military officers. In Israel we've seen routinely Arab terrorists attack Israeli civilians with cars. In France we've seen attacks on Jews by Islamic militants. In the United States we've seen attacks on recruiting centers for National Guard recruiters. So we're seeing an uptick in this and in fact in the last couple of weeks there was an ISIS manual discovered in Britain which talks specifically about attacking British policemen and British soldiers in England. So I think we're going to unfortunately see a lot more of this.
Lilley: Well the exhortation went out again from someone who is, they claim anyway, living in the caliphate, another radicalized Canadian who goes on Twitter by the name Abu Khalid al-Kanadi, and I guess that's supposed to be the Canadian. He said 'Muslims in Canada follow the footsteps of our brave brother Martin Rouleau who took revenge for Canadian military aggression in our lands.' That's another exhortation saying go out and take these guys on. Look, we've seen plenty of plots thwarted in both our countries over the years because they've been going for the big target, they've been going for the big shebang, and so you've got to have several people involved in a plot, plots are easier to infiltrate, you've got to be able to buy materials that are closely monitored. Do you relate this to the Oklahoma beheading that happened a little while ago? Do you relate this to Fort Hood? Do you relate this to those types of attacks?
Emerson: Well I relate it in several ways. One, in the Fort Hood attack, remember Nidal Hasan who killed 18 people was charged with "workplace violence"; he wasn't charged with terrorism. In the same way, the New York Times this morning, when they described the terrorist attack that occurred in Canada, they didn't even describe the fact that the perpetrator was a radical Muslim. There had been efforts to basically manipulate the public into believing that somehow these are not Islamic terrorist attacks.
Lilley: Thankfully Prime Minister Harper came out yesterday and said both, thankfully.
Emerson: Absolutely. He's one of the few Western leaders that has been willing to state exactly the truth, that these are Islamic terrorist attacks and that the groups that exist in Canada are in fact terrorist groups. The fact that the RCMP actually aligned itself [in co-signing a manual] with several groups that had been previously aligned with Islamic terrorism I think is a scandal. And frankly [to its credit] the Canadian intelligence service itself issued a report several years ago that we [ our organization] still cite to this very day that hits at the very heart of what motivates Islamic terrorists – that is the [conspiratorial incendiary] belief that somehow there's a "war against Islam" [by the West]. And these very groups that have been legitimized in the West; they have photo opportunities at the White House; they are invited into the [Department of] Homeland security; [the] RCMP embraces them; they are the very same groups that articulate and champion the [incendiary and delusional] notion that there's a "war against Islam" They are responsible for spreading this type of incendiary notion that induces people to carry out acts of terrorism.
Lilley: How do the RCMP, because for all their faults their counterterrorism division actually does bust up a lot of plots, but how do they, how do local police forces, how do the national security agencies in both our countries try and deal with these lone wolves? Like I said you can infiltrate a group. They might know that someone has been radicalized. But how tough is it for them to target these guys and prevent something before it happens?
Emerson: Well as you pointed out lone wolves are very difficult because if there's no conspiracy - a conspiracy is 2 or more people – if there's no conspiracy, if there's just a "sudden jihad syndrome" as my colleague Dan Pipes has [coined it], carried out by one person, it's almost impossible to stop it. But in this particular case at least the RCMP was on to this person. He tried to leave Canada to join ISIS, he has been known to be affiliated with radical Islam. But again in a free society you're allowed to do that. He hadn't crossed the line yet into something illegal. And that's the real problem. Until there's a criminal predicate the government's hands are tied. Here's the issue – what can the government do preemptively to stop these acts of terrorism by these sudden jihadists that are not involved in a conspiracy? Because I think that's exactly what we're going to see much more frequently in the future.
Lilley: All right Steven, great talking to you as always and we'll continue to follow your work.