Khurram Syed Sher of London, Ontario has been arrested and charged with being part of a domestic terrorist conspiracy. One group member allegedly possessed explosive devices, was in contact with a terrorist group linked to the Afghanistan conflict, had terrorist literature and 50 electronic circuit boards, for possible use as remote-control triggers for bombs, and one of the men was trained overseas to make explosive booby traps.
The operation was called Project Samosa. Khurram is a former Canadian Idol candidate and is seen in the above video wearing traditional Afghani clothes, speaking in a fob Pakistani accent, dancing the Robot and Moonwalk and singing to Avril Lavigne’s Complicated.
Is this for real? Project Samosa? Canadian Idol?
The Toronto 18 were our first real terror cell. They apparently operated out of a mosque just down the street from me (Actually, they went to the same high school as I did in Mississauga and most were from Scarborough. They were all very young). The mosque was where I first found God. That’s very scary to me.
This mosque was innocuous. There was a pizza joint and a Max’s Convenience store attached to the left and right of the mosque. It was just an old store, transformed into a simple prayer room. The imam was SUPER nice (and really modern, forward-thinking), just in his 20s and Canadian born. He taught me my first lessons in Islam.
It was beyond shocking to me when the arrests were made and plans to cause significant damage to the CN Tower, City Hall and places of business were brought to light. Someone, somewhere had made friends with these youths and convinced them that attacking their country of birth was the right thing to do.
The group have since gone to trial. The mosque still operates because nothing was wrong with the mosque itself or its congregants. The TO 18 just used it as an occasional meeting place before getting a slice of pizza. Allegations have also been made about one of the ringleaders who organized terror training camps up north — that not only was he an RCMP informant, but that he actively encouraged the group to go forward with their plans, when they were just a bunch of kids chatting it up on MSN. At least that what the supporters of the group have claimed.
So what about Project Samosa and Idol hopeful Khurram?
Well, the media is already jumping on inconsistencies in his story — because how could someone obviously wanting to be a part of Western Culture also want to destroy it? In 2 years, could Khurram really have gone from schmoozing with idol types and singing on television to local terrorist?
Tonight on his radio program, progressive Muslim, and often culturally and socially disconnected (inept, uncouth), Tarek Fatah was already defending Khurram, claiming that the RCMP arrested the wrong person. He discussed how the man they arrested (the man in the Idol clip) has a high-middle class Pakistani accent. Because Khurram says that he arrived in Canada in “2K5,” that this makes him a modern, bollywood type. And that the REAL Khurram Syed Sher was born in Montreal, was 100% homegrown, and on the lose somewhere.
The fact that Tarek Fatah completely misses the point of Khurram’s cover “interest” story to get on Idol is not surprising. What is surprising is the suggestion that a complete FOB who went on Idol could never, ever, ever be a terrorist. But that an ABCD (American/Canadian-Born, Confused Desi) could most certainly be turned to the dark side.
Because this is the important part of the story, right?
What will this do for FOX and the National Post? Terrorists hate the West. That’s how we know them. Terrorists dress like Khurram did in the Idol clip… but would never EVER actually be on Idol. Terrorists go to mosque and lead austere lives. They keep to themselves and plot is secret. Homegrown terrorists are on the rise, but they don’t dress like that. What do you mean Khurram went to school in Montreal? That his neighbours really like him? It must mean he’s not actually a terrorist. Because if he is, then we can’t trust anyone. Not even people who dance and sing on Idol.
The fact that Khurram has yet to be associated with a mosque is important. It’s actually very telling of the “new” situation post 9/11. Everyone thinks that radical Islam starts in a mosque. That Muslims gather together in their holy spaces to conspire and plot against the West. But guess what. We don’t. At least, 98.6% of us do not.
More often than not, the youths that are pulled into these types of anti-Western modes of thought, are on the outskirts of society. They’re drinking, doing drugs, or have an unhappy home life. Do you think they’re drinking in the mosque? Where do terror recruiters find them? In basketball courts, pizza places, parking lots, club, MSN chatrooms — and then they offer these youths excitement, and outlets for their angst.
It will be interesting to see how much the Media will play up this YouTube video. I’m not surprised that I already found it by simply searching for “Canadian Idol Terrorist.” It will also be interesting to see how this story will develop, who is involved, if the 50 circuit boards* were for bomb detonation or to host the ultimate Starcraft II competition (or perhaps, make cheap laptops to sell at Pacific Mall?), what the targets were, and what tipped off the RCMP to begin investigating in the first place, and what happened to Khurram inbetween 2008-present.
Then maybe we’ll be able to answer what a terrorist suspect was doing on Idol in the first place.
*Sadly, I know it’s not for Starcraft
…police seized more than 50 electronic circuit boards that could be used to produce improvised explosive devices, or IEDs — the same lethal bombs involved in the majority of deaths and injuries of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. “This group posed a real and serious threat to the citizens of the national capital region and Canada’s national security”…