The Trudeau government removed all references to ISIS fighters returning to Canada and posing a potential chemical weapons threat from a government report, despite warnings from its own public safety department.
According to documents obtained by Global News through an Access to Information request, the Liberal government redacted the final version of a Public Safety Canada report on the potential domestic terrorism threats of returning ISIS members.
The sanitized result was the 2017 “Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada.”
Instead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted the ISIS fighters can be rehabilitated and returned to Canadian society. At one town hall meeting, he compared them to the post-Second World War immigrants arriving from Italy.
But Public Safety Canada was less sanguine, stating that ISIS was known for its use of chlorine and mustard gas in Syria
“While the threat of a chemical attack in Canada is considered remote, there continues to be a potential risk of extremist travelers returning to Canada, having gained knowledge of the use of crude chemical weapons,” Public Safety Canada wrote.
The original public safety report is replete with margin notations from the Privy Council Office — a tightly-knit group of government insiders — that seek to minimize the danger that returning ISIS members pose to Canadian society
One note suggests the information on chemical weapons is “speculative” and says ISIS was “more proficient” in high explosives.
The federal government has admitted that 100 Islamic extremists departed Canada to fight for ISIS directly. Another 60 are said to have joined related Islamic extremist terrorist groups.
Although the public safety document acknowledges that “robust domestic controls” alleviate concerns over a chemical weapons attack in Canada, it also suggests that ISIS has demonstrated a profound ability to improvise when planning terrorist actions.
“…Daesh’s [ISIS] known use of commercially available toxic industrial chemicals in attacks is indicative of the group’s ability to use any means available,” the documents read.