Feds fund terrorism research
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - Canadian researchers will get more than $1 million to plug gaps in this country's knowledge of the terrorist threats it faces.
On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced the first round of $10 million worth of funding over five years under the government's counterterrorism project. The money will go to six research projects at universities and think-tanks across Canada.
"Many of us do not understand really what causes terrorism, what causes individuals, Canadian citizens, to involve themselves in inappropriate acts against the state and their fellow citizens," Toews said.
"It's very important that we build a base of understanding for that type of knowledge because I think it will help police and security agencies on the ground in dealing with this particular issue."
The goal of the research is to provide tools to police officers, judges, lawyers and the intelligence community working on the front lines of the fight against terrorism.
The focus will be on ideological extremism, perceptions around terrorism and security, and effective counterterrorism.
Lorne Dawson, a professor at the University of Waterloo, has done in-depth research in the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist cell.
Along with colleagues at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, he received $460,000 over two years to set up a national network of experts.
This funding will help break down the "silos" terrorist experts in Canada have been working in since research was ramped up in the wake of 9/11, Dawson said.
"Many people are tackling from all different directions," he said. "The trouble is no one is speaking to each other." The money comes from the federal Kanishka project, unveiled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year on the 26th anniversary of the Air India bombing.
The project was named after the Air India Flight 182 plane that was bombed in 1985, killing 329 people, most of them Canadian.