When Great Britain freed Abdul beset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi back in 2009 on grounds of compassion as he was allegedly dying of cancer. Today he lives comfortably in Libya after being returning home to a hero’s welcome. He killed 270 passengers of a Pan Am flight in 1988 and had only served 8 years for his crime. The world cried “Foul” and reacted in disgust.
Now it’s Canada’s turn to either let justice play itself out in the United States or intervene to aid a confessed terrorist. The name Omar Khadr has been in Canadian news since his arrest on a battlefield in Afghanistan back in July 2002. However this is not the first time the name Khadr has been linked to terrorism.
In the 1990’s, Toronto’s Khadr family was shuttling between Pakistan and Afghanistan, mingling with al-Qaeda elites and dabbling in “charity” work. In November of 1995, a bomb leveled the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad and killed 16 people, Ahmed Said Khadr, the father of Omar Khadr, was among the suspects rounded up by Pakistani authorities.
Khadr proclaimed his innocence, went on a hunger strike, and ended up in a hospital. His case became front-page news in Canada. Jean Chrétien was flying to the region for a trade mission. Under pressure from the press, Chrétien met Ahmed Khadr’s wife and children, broached the case with Pakistan’s late leader, Benazir Bhutto. A few months later, Ahmed Khadr was a free man—kissing the ground when his plane landed in Canada.
He didn’t stay long. By 1998, the family was back in Afghanistan, living in the same compound as Osama bin Laden. In 2001, Khadr’s name was added to a United Nations’ terrorism blacklist, and when the Twin Towers were attacked, the U.S. branded him a “primary suspect” and froze his assets. Chrétien, it turned out, had gone to bat for a very bad man.
Al-Qaeda’s senior Canadian was never again in police custody; he was killed in a gunfight with Pakistani troops in 2003, and eulogized as a martyr.
Arrested on the battlefields of Afghanistan at the tender age of 15, Omar Khadr was accused of throwing a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer, a decorated U.S. army medic, in July 2002. Now 24, he has been locked inside the American prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than eight years.
Lawyers for Omar Khadr are pressuring Canada to agree to get involved in his plea bargaining by allowing Khadr to serve the greater part of his sentence in Canada. After being duped into getting involved with Ahmed Khadr back in the 1990’s , allowing him to continue his career as a terrorist until Pakistani troops put an end to it, Canada is going to be asked to become involved with Omar Khadr and allow him to do easy time in a Canadian prison at tax payer’s expense. How ludicrous is that?
Khadr’s career as a terrorist has just begun. He has many years left to fight and kill Canadian soldiers and their allies. Weather the Canadian government gets involved and has him repatriated or if he finishes his sentence in the US and is deported to Canada when it ends, Omar Khadr will be back in the lime light again. He has now had 8 more years of indoctrination and training from his co-prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has many new axes to grind with the western world.
Omar Khadr and his father are not the only Khadr family members under surveillance by CSIS. The Khadr family has brought shame to Canada and death to our friends and allies. When Khadr is released from prison perhaps Afghanistan or Pakistan would be a more fitting home for him.