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Plot inspired by al-Qaida but direct link unlikely, expert says
The RCMP said the bomb plot targeting the B.C. legislature had some level of al-Qaida inspiration, but University of Victoria political science professor Scott Watson believes no formal connection exists.
“I don’t think there’s any international connection here other than [the suspects] having read some material,” said Watson, an expert on international security.
“We haven’t really heard if they had an overt political goal yet, whether it be religious or foreign-policy related, and until we do, we won’t really have a sense of what was motivating them.
“It didn’t sound like they wanted retribution for Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan or something else,” Watson said.
“It could come out later, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a strong political angle here.”
Watson said he and his family were part of the Canada Day crowd at the legislature.
“I think everyone who was there starts to think about others in society and their views on society, and how we protect ourselves.”
Bill Durodie of the conflict analysis and management program at Royal Roads University said those involved in the plot might have made use of jihadist websites, but that doesn’t necessarily say much about their motivation.
“I think what the Internet, for instance, allows is for people who have already decided to perpetrate an act to amplify their view, but it doesn’t explain it.”
Radical websites aside, Durodie said, articles about the western world being corrupt or decadent can be found throughout the mainstream media.
“There’s plenty of articles in contemporary society that display a degree of self-loathing for our own culture.”
He said extremism can be defined as “an extreme expression of a mainstream idea,” and that perhaps there should be a closer look taken at how we analyze ourselves in the media.