At just before 10 AM this morning a shooter entered the Canadian Parliament Center Block, location of the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate chambers. Within moments gunfire ensued. Reports now after a couple of hours indicate that the Sergeant at Arms of the Parliament, Kevin Vickers, shot and apparently killed a gunman near his office in the Center Block.
Police from several agencies including the RCMP continue at this hour to hunt for more suspects.
An earlier shooting at the cite of the War Memorial Cenotaph saw a single soldier on ceremonial guard duty gunned down. At this writing it is believed the soldier is still alive but in grave condition. Reports from the scene of the Cenotaph less than two blocks from the Parliament Center Block, indicate that police and citizens rushed to render aid to the soldier moments after the shooting. AT 2:30 PM I sadly report that the soldier, yet unidentified, has died from his wounds. A report as yet unconfirmed identified the soldier as a Reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces, attached to the Hamilton Argyles.
Reports also indicated that gunfire occurred at the Rideau Center, a large indoor mall located within a mile of the Parliament buildings.
Today’s gunfire appears to be connected to an incident two days ago at St Jean Sur Richelieu when a man linked to ISIS targeted a vehicle carrying two Canadian soldiers, killing one, in what is said to be a deliberate crash. The man committing this act was identified as having ties to ISIS. The man was killed at the scene by police.
It is difficult to believe that these actions over the past few days, including today are not the work of terrorists, acting either independently or in concert. Canada has not been without terrorist actions in the past. The following is a summary from a reporting today by CTV, one of Canada’s national trelevision services.
Oct. 1970: The FLQ kidnaps British Trade Commissioner James Cross and Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte.
April 1982: Turkish envoy Atilla Altikat is shot and killed by a gunman while driving to work in Ottawa.
March, 1985: A siege at the Turkish Embassy left security guard Claude Brunnel dead.
April, 1989: A Lebanese-Canadian armed man hijacks a Greyhound bus and drives it to Parliament Hill. The eight-hour hostage taking ends with no casualties.
Nov., 1995: An armed intruder slipped into the bedroom door at 24 Sussex Drive while Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife were sleeping. Cretien grabbed an Inuit stone carving for protection and called for help.
1997: A man stopped just short of crashing a Jeep into the doors of the Centre Block after driving up the steps.
Dec. 2002: A security guard was caught napping when a grenade was delivered to the Prime Minister’s office.
2006: The Toronto 18 terror group plotted to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange, a military base and storm the Parliament buildings to behead the Prime Minister. Eleven jihadists were later convicted.
Dec. 2009: Greenpeace demonstrators climbed to the top of two Parliament Buildings and unfurled banners protesting the oilsands.
Oct. 2013: A man was taken into custody after a bomb threat to the Parliament Buildings.
It might, to some people, seems that Canada is an unlikely target, however I suggest it must be understood that Canada stands as a prominent advocate of democracy and therefore can be easily seen as an enemy of terrorist forces seeking to command a bigger presence in the Middle East. Organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda have most definitely sworn vengeance against the West. It is not difficult to believe that they have plans to do harm in Canada.
My novel, The Chechen’s Revenge, explores the idea that a terrorist from Chechnya has plans to commit a horrendous act by blowing up various parts of the Toronto Go Train System. I invented a new Canadian Anti-Terrorism Service, staffed by specialists dedicated to combating terrorism against Canada. The work is fiction but today’s events clearly demonstrate that there is an absolute need for vigilance in Canada. My work in the Chechen’s Revenge is laced with a sense of reality. I include bits and pieces of history and fact as a means of producing a readable story that rings with a certain truth. I hope you will read the story and reflect, but even more understand that anti-terrorism efforts in Canada that are ongoing must be supported in order to protect the people and Democracy.
Good reading friends. Thanks for your support.