A newspaper called Asia Times Online headquartered in Hong Kong has published an article dated January 15, 2011
claiming that Al-Qaeda is fulfilling a plan to enlist Caucasians in their holy war. It goes on to discuss specific Canadian militants receiving jihadi training in camps in North Waziristan with the objective of carrying out terror attacks in Canada.
The story was written by one of the papers "senior writers", Syed Saleem Shahzad. The end of the article states that Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief and author of upcoming book Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban 9/11 and Beyond published by Pluto Press, UK.
According to the National Post reprinting a story by Ian MacLeod of PostMedia
: While Shahzad’s credibility appears firm, that of so-called Taliban sources is routinely questioned by Western authorities on guard against al-Qaida’s increasingly slick propaganda operations directed at Western audiences.
In the original Asia Times Online article, the reporter Shahzad quotes Arif Wazir, a local militant of Darpakhel in North Waziristan, "In the first stage of their journey, the Canadians went to Afghanistan in February 2010; there were 12 of them. After nine months, al-Qaeda’s leaders decided to send them to North Waziristan and they reached Darpakhel in November last year.
"In Afghanistan they received basic jihadi training; while currently they are busy doing some special courses. Their main learning is how to use sophisticated weapons, and how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America. They are also learning how to use ordinary material like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives. These militants will then return to their country to execute al-Qaeda’s plan of targeting big cities in Canada."
Mr. Shahzav makes mention of various Canadians by name: Jeam Paull (local name Sadiq Ullah), Leman Langlois (Sana Ullah), James Richard (Abdur Rehman), Otto Paul (Abu Usman), Thomas (Abdullah) and Paul Gall (Hafiz Ullah).
According to reports in various Canadian newspapers, the RCMP is studying this article in order to assess if the information is of any value. Is any of this true and is the report reliable? The RCMP has been quoted as saying they would take appropriate action as quickly as possible depending on their assessment of the Asia Times story.
It is of note that Mr. Shahzav in his article mentions jihadis from the United States, Britain and Germany. This supposed plan to recruit Caucasians is not just targeting Canada.
to read more from William Belle.
By Syed Saleem Shahzad and Tahir Ali – Jan 15/2011
With the Afghan war entering its 10th year, completely undeterred by the American drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region, al-Qaeda is putting the final touches to plans to recruit, train and launch Western Caucasians in their countries; the aim is to spread the flames of the South Asian war theater to the West.
Asia Times Online (abbreviated as ATol) is an Internet-only news and commentary publication that reports and examines geopolitical, political, economic and business issues from an Asian perspective. ATol is published in two language editions, English and Chinese.
Asia Times Online was founded at the beginning of 1999 and is incorporated and duly registered in Hong Kong. It derives its revenues from advertising and the resale of original content to other publications and news services.
Historically, in publication policy and editorial outlook, Asia Times Online is the successor to Asia Times, a Hong Kong/Bangkok-based daily print newspaper founded in 1995, which ceased publication on June 26, 1997, a week before the devaluation of Thailand’s baht kicked off the Asian financial crisis.
Asia Times has gone on to be one of Asia’s most popular news sites, attracting upwards of 100,000 unique readers every day.
I am in my early 30s and based in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi. I have been writing for newspapers for several years, starting as a staff reporter at The Star (Dawn Group of Newspapers), to which I am still affiliated as senior political correspondent. The power sector and aviation were my main fields, and my exposes in these areas have had an impact on national policy making. More recently, I am known for writing bold stories about sensitive institutions like the apex court and the armed forces. Exposing the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency in Pakistani politics landed me in trouble, but intervention at a very high level by leaders of the national press forced the state apparatus to take a step back. Presently, regional issues including the political situations in Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East are my focus.