Queen's University

Canadian terrorists were from London, Ont.: Queen's University expert

2013-05-02

Queen’s University terrorism expert Christian Leuprecht can talk about reports the two Canadian involved in the Algerian gas plant attack have been identified as Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas — two high school friends from London, Ont.

“The ‘upside’ is they appear to have self-radicalized and then looked to link up with a group. So we don’t appear to have an immediate problem of a possible recruitment network on Canadian soil. The ‘downside’ is that self-radicalization is very difficult to guard against. Much or all of the activity in which they would have been engaged while in Canada would likely have been perfectly legal. So, these cases are difficult to detect, even harder to stop, and harder yet to convict,” says Dr. Leuprecht. “The fact that CSIS was allegedly on to them shows that both our security intelligence and deterrence mechanisms are working. But keep in mind, once they leave the country, the CSIS Act makes it very difficult to follow them. Perhaps this is yet another good reason to re-start the debate on amending the CSIS Act to give security intelligence more leeway outside of the country.”

Please note that Dr. Leuprecht likes to be identified in the media as an expert from both Queen’s University and Royal Military College.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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