chapter  11
30 Pages

Terrorism Old and New: Counterterrorism in Canada1,2


When the Hon. Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chrétien as Canada’s new prime minister in December 2003, his most conspicuous move was to appoint a cabinet that included a new Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEP, now Public Safety Canada), clearly patterned on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The first minister to be appointed to

Introduction 207 Terrorism in Canada, 1973-2003: An Operational Typology 209

Demand-Based Threats 211 “Private Justice” Threats 212 Revolutionary Threats 215 “Restoration” Threats 217

Revolutionary and Restoration Terrorism: A Contrast 218 The FLQ as a Canadian Prototype of Revolutionary Terrorism 218 Contrasting Demand-Based, Revolutionary, and Restoration Terrorism 220

Territoriality 220 Terrorism as Communication 221 Motivation 223 Individualization 224

Correspondence between Features of Demand-Based Terrorism and Successful Counterterrorism 224 Finding Correlations between Features of Restoration Terrorism and Successful Counterterrorism 227 Conclusion 230 Notes 231 References 231

the Public Safety portfolio was the Hon. Anne McLennan, who also served as vice prime minister of Canada, a telling expression of the importance of the new ministry. The creation of PSEP was not a response to a direct attack-Canada, although explicitly mentioned by Al Qaeda spokesmen as among targeted countries, had not been the object of recent terrorist attacks. Instead, its creation testifies to the global character of the new counterterrorism (CT), whereby countries are accountable to each other and must show diligence and dedication to the war on terror. It also bears witness to the enduring worldwide defensive stance that followed the tragedy of September 2001 and the perception that political violence was evolving toward what was referred to as a “new” terrorism (Hoffman, 1997; Laqueur, 1997, 1999, 2003; Pape, 2003). In our view, the label new terrorism is misleading as some of its characteristics have always been central to terrorism; it is too heavily colonized by religious language, often using the justifications offered by the terrorists as explanations of their actions; it is too close to an idealized version of Al Qaeda central that has ceased to be applicable; and finally it has been applied too soon and too liberally. In short, it should be replaced. Yet, it is undeniable that terrorism is a constantly fluctuating, dynamic category, and it is inevitable that new forms of terrorism-new tactics, new structures, new objectives, new targets, new discourses, and new audiences-will emerge, new, in an atheoretical sense. It then follows that equally new forms of CT should be adopted.