Canadian woman runs safe house for Al Qaeda suicide bombers

The Toronto Star – July 12, 2012

 

A Canadian woman at the centre of Somalia’s Al Qaeda is known among the intelligence agencies that track her and the foreign militants who praise her simply as “Mama Shabab.” It is an honorific title for former Toronto resident Fadumo Jama, who intelligence agencies allege is the den mother of al Shabab who runs a safe house for Western fighters recruited into the militant Islamic organization.

While she moves frequently, using forged passports from African countries, it is believed she has operated a home in the Somali town of Merca for at least four years and has supported American and European recruits in the weeks before their suicide bombing missions. Jama is a well-known figure to intelligence agencies in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Somalia, yet her name does not appear in any public documents and she has not been charged. Her role facilitating Western recruits exemplifies the increasing importance of women to the Shabab — although her position of authority is rare, as most females are recruited only as wives for the fighters or suicide bombers. Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Richard Fadden told a Senate committee earlier this year that this was an emerging trend.

Two young Toronto women raised in Canada after their parents fled Somalia when the government collapsed two decades ago were among those reportedly lured into the group last year, defying their families and flying to Kenya’s capital before crossing the border.

Toronto 18 plotter renounces his right to parole hearing

The Toronto Star – July 28, 2011

 

Ali Dirie, a member of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist cell who is scheduled to be released from prison this fall has renounced his right to a parole hearing. Dirie was among 18 people named in 2006 for plotting to cause bloodshed and panic in Canada by bombing nuclear power plants and RCMP headquarters and attacking Parliament. The Somali-born Dirie was arrested in 2005 and was already in prison when police moved in on the group in 2006, but he continued to recruit and work for the group while behind bars.

 

Dirie is scheduled to be released in October. He was scheduled to appear before parole officials in mid-August. Last year Dirie said that while he opposed Canada’s military role in Afghanistan, he had come to realize that a violent response was unnecessary. While he still believed in jihad, he said he favoured a political and peaceful version to get his point across instead of using terrorist acts like blowing up buildings.