The RCMP’s senior counterterrorism officer has singled out radical preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki as a common thread among young Canadian extremists. Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said Awlaki, a Yemeni-American terrorist leader, had been popping up during investigations of “the individuals that are of concern to us.”
The RCMP has been investigating radicalized Canadians who have travelled to such countries as Somalia and Pakistan for terrorist training. The move followed similar measures enacted by the United States and the United Nations Security Council, which placed Awlaki on its list of individuals associated with al-Qaeda. From members of the Toronto 18 to the Somali-Canadians in Al-Shabab, many of those involved in terrorist groups share a fascination with Awlaki, who has been in hiding somewhere in Yemen since 2007.