Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Our Friends the Canadians?

Michelle Malkin has a story about Canada's reluctance to deport a suspected terrorist:

A Canadian judge refuses to deport a suspected terrorist on the grounds that he may be tortured if sent back to Egypt, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

The suspected terrorist, Mohamed Mahjoub, has met Osama bin Laden several times and was a senior official at a bin Laden-owned agricultural firm in Sudan in the early 1990s. When he first arrived in Canada in 1995, Mahjoub lived with the highest-ranking Canadian in al Qaeda, according to the Citizen.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service contends that Mahjoub is a high-ranking member of Vanguards of Conquest, an Egyptian terrorist group that merged with al Qaeda in 1998. Mahjoub was convicted in absentia in Egypt for his involvement with the group.

Mahjoub has not been convicted of any crime in Canada, however. His confinement (and that of other Arabs in Canada suspected of involvement in terrorist activities) has already evoked comparisons to Guantanamo Bay. If he is not going to be deported, one assumes Canadian officials will eventually let him go, as his defenders have urged.

Virtually all Middle Easterners can make plausible-sounding claims that they will be tortured if deported. It is a safe bet that the decision in Mahjoub's case will make Canada an even more attractive destination for terrorists.

As I've noted before, suspected and known al Qaeda operatives have exploited the asylum card here as well and lodged claims of "credible fear of persecution" that are almost impossible to document but are rarely rejected. Rep. James Sensenbrenner has been championing reform of these asylum loopholes since 9/11 and is working hard to pass provisions that were dropped from the so-called intel reform bill. He says:

Terrorists are getting asylum today for two main reasons. First, our government cannot ask foreign governments what evidence they have about the terrorist activities of asylum applicants. Thus, the U.S. government must usually oppose an asylum request by arguing that the applicant is lying. The 9th Circuit has effectively barred immigration judges from denying asylum claims on the basis of credibility determinations. That is crazy - every jury in the country judges the credibility of witnesses. Our bill would have stopped that.

In addition, the 9th Circuit has been granting asylum to applicants because their home government believes they are terrorists. It then says that therefore they are being persecuted because of the political beliefs of the relevant terrorist organization. Our bill would have stopped that nonsense as well. That issue is not going away either.

Come on guys..... help the civilized world out, EH!

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