It was reported this week that two young women, reportedly Canadian, were captured in a tunnel beneath the Iraqi city of Mosul in the company of approximately two dozen additional women. The group included five Germans, three Russians, three Turks, a Chechen and six from Libya and Syria.
According to an Iraqi counterterrorism official, “the women had weapons and explosive belts meant to attack Iraqi troops.” They were said to be working for the ISIS police faction.
What is in these women’s future?
Canada will lobby for repatriation of the Canadians. And then what?
If returned here, will they face criminal charges and immediately, with guidance from legal counsel, claim their protections guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated?
Will it be argued that Canada must prepare two apologies and two cheques?
Will the Trudeau government opt to seek punishment for the women who closed ranks with the arguably most brutal terror organization globally? Or will the Prime Minister roll out his “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” illogic?
Perhaps not immediately, but somewhere during the official processing of these women?
No doubt the current federal government will contort itself to be seen extending every benefit of the doubt to the two, explosives belts and firearms worn and carried at time of capture be damned.
WATCH BELOW: Video captures explosions as battle in devastated Mosul continues
Are the women likely to turn to violence in Canada? And if not direct violence, then perhaps radicalizing in the manner they perhaps experienced?
I will speak with Christianne Boudreau on Saturday’s program about radicalizing and violence.
It was while living in Calgary that Ms. Boudreau’s oldest son, Damian Clairmont, 22, converted to Islam and travelled the road from radicalizing to joining ISIS in Syria, where he was killed in a firefight in 2014.
Boudreau worked diligently to try to create a program to counter radicalizing of young Canadians. Not a simple task given little in the way of official effort was underway and she was repeatedly identified as the mother of a terrorist and therefore deemed unemployable when she applied for work.
In early 2016, Boudreau left Canada for France, hoping to escape the stigma and begin a new life while remaining committed to working with other parents to safeguard their children from following the footsteps of her son Damian.
Terrorism has reached Canada and Canadians in different forms. Sunday I will be speaking with Australian Warren Rodwell who was kidnapped by the ISIS-affiliated terror group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. Abu Sayyaf also kidnapped Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, demanding millions of dollars in ransom.
Australia immediately took action quietly on behalf of its citizen, Mr. Rodwell, while Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau engaged in what Mr. Rodwell describes as “empty chest thumping” in insisting Canada does not pay ransom.
After 472 days of captivity and threats of beheading Warren Rodwell was released by Abu Sayyaf following payment of a ransom of about $100,000.
John Ridsdel and Robert Hall represented by a Canadian government which was notable mainly for its lack of engagement were beheaded.
Mr. Hall’s sister Bonice Thomas as recently as last weekend shared with us on air that at no time has Canada’s Minister of Global Affairs Chrystia Freeland taken the time to reply to even one of the many e-mails Bonice Thomas has sent seeking answers to her brother’s brutal death.
Did the Prime Minister call to offer condolences? Yes, allowed Bonice Thomas, but Justin Trudeau sounded as though he was “reading a bereavement script.”
Sunday you will hear Bonice Thomas and her cousin Gord Bibby speak with Warren Rodwell and biographer of Mr. Rodwell’s almost 18 months of Abu Sayyaf captivity, Dr. Bob East. The book is titled 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf. The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell.
What will the story of the two young said-to-be-Canadian women discovered in the Mosul tunnel turn out to be?
Will Canada opt to prosecute or eventually apologize and draw on the Omar Khadr financial settlement precedent?
Anything appears possible under Justin Trudeau’s stewardship.