As Canadians prepared to celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation, security forces are poised to prevent any potential terrorist attack. A memo obtained by CTV News reveals that Canada — along with the United States — was named as a terrorist target by ISIS after the Manchester bombing in May.
More than 500,000 celebrants are expected to converge on Parliament Hill this Saturday but security at the event will be “unprecedented,” according to one source.
Police will be fully armed and surveillance cameras are being put into place right now. There will be a barricade placed around the event in order to prevent any vehicles form entering the area.
The memo indicates that ISIS has actually told Muslims to avoid markets and public gatherings in Canada because they plan to use “explosives, vehicles and beheadings to kill crusaders.”
“Given the current threat environment it is increasingly necessary for law enforcement officers to be aware of possible suspicious incidents that may be indicative of pre-attack planning,” the memo continues. “The planning cycle of self-directed extremists is becoming increasingly shorter and subsequently more difficult to attack.”
Despite the memo and the grave warning, sources told CTV News that there is no intelligence report indicating that a specific target will be hit on Canada Day this weekend. In fact, the security threat levels has not been increased from medium, where it has stood since 2014.
But officials say they can’t take anything for granted and have to prepare for the worst.
Ottawa Police Service spokesman Chuck Benoit does not want the increased security to upset the July 1 celebration.
“You’re going to see officers with carbines and long guns in the area. It’s not to scare anybody but it’s a precaution we have to have in measure,” Benoit said.
The downtown core of Canada’s capitol of Ottawa is expected to be jam-packed and most streets leading to Parliament Hill will be closed by Thursday.