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Mounties Get Sensitivity Training Before Raids

From Toronto’s Globe And Mail:

Zakaria Amara, 20,of Mississauga, Ontario, west of Toronto is seen in this undated image taken from a website. Amara was one of the 17 men arrested over the weekend (June 3-4, 2006) in what Canadian police and security officials describe as a home-grown terrorist ring that planned to target landmarks in Ottawa and Toronto.

Raid officers learned about Muslim traditions



Before the raids came the sensitivity training: Tactical-squad Mounties learned how to properly handle Korans prior to arresting 17 terrorism suspects on the weekend.

And that’s not all. The RCMP also made sure there were clean prayer mats on hand for their suspects when they were sent to jail cells.

Then, after everything wrapped up, authorities met with a number of Muslim leaders to impress upon them that officers were going after specific individuals, not the community as a whole.

Our officers need to be respectful,” said RCMP spokeswoman Corporal Michele Paradis.

“We want to make sure the investigation is pristine.”

Stung by racial-profiling allegations in the past, the Mounties made sure this time they would protect themselves against complaints of racism.

Optics was crucial. The RCMP had to entertain all kinds of potential scenarios, such as, what if a target tried to blow himself up during the course of an arrest?

There is a precedent for this: Al-Qaeda suspects in the deadly Madrid train bombings blew themselves up in an apartment rather than let themselves be caught by police.

So the RCMP decided to consult the experts. “They brought in Spanish police, because of what happened in Madrid, when the guys blew themselves up and everything,” one source said.

“They brought in the Spaniards to sort of get their take on what they did wrong and what they could have done right.”

I’d say this was unbelievable. But actually, it is all too believable.

(Thanks to SBaxter for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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