Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security Meeting Summary - Radicalization Leading to Violence

November 18-20, 2011, Gatineau, Québec

Participants: The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Deputy Ministers of Justice and of Public Safety, Roundtable members, and senior officials from the Departments of Public Safety, Justice, Transport and Citizenship and Immigration, as well as the RCMP, CSIS, Correctional Service Canada, the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Center, and representatives of the Somali-Canadian community, participated in the dialogue with the members.

Issues of Discussion: The 19th meeting of the Roundtable focused on the issue of radicalization leading to violence.  Members were provided with an overview of the threats to Canadians and Canadian interests at home and abroad, from terrorists and violent extremists, as well as a high-level overview of Canada's approach to countering terrorism.  Members examined the issues related to radicalization leading to violence in the context of the federal correctional system.   Members welcomed representatives from the Somali-Canadian community who provided an overview of the history of Somalia and the circumstances in which Somalis fled their home country in order to provide some insight into the issues faced by Somali youth in Canada.  Presentations were also made on the on-going research into the Toronto 18, and on Kanishka Research Project.  The Chair of the Sub-Group on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism presented the recommendations of the report of the Sub-Group to the CCRS.  Finally, the issue of how to best to approach the issue of radicalization leading to violence within the context of Citizenship and Immigration's multiculturalism grants and contribution program was examined.

Outcomes: Members commented on the importance of clarity in communicating threats to Canadians, and in particular, in communicating with communities.  Discussions centered on the use of terms in describing terrorist threats.  The use of terms such as "Al-Qaeda inspired terrorism" was suggested as a way of describing the threat accurately to Canadians, while being sensitive to communities' concerns over labeling.  Members were particularly moved by the presentation from the representatives from the Somali-Canadian community, and urged the Government to help this community where it can.  After some discussion, members agreed to submit the report of the CCRS Sub-Group on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism to the Minister of Public Safety.

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