A report aired on the Quebec French-language station TVA claims that four employees at Trudeau International Airport in Montreal were stripped of their security clearance due to concerns of radicalization and support for the Islamic State, reported the Toronto Sun and CBC News. At least one employee had access to runways and was investigated by police.
Two employees who had airport security clearance had expressed support for ISIS. One shared graphic ISIS videos on social media and another one suggested that the November 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead “needed to be replicated”. TVA claims that some employees have allegedly been accessing online documents on the use of explosives.
According to TVA, two of the individuals still work at the airport, but according to vice-president of airport operations Pierre-Paul Pharand, they had their security clearance revoked as a “precautionary measure”.
This is not the first time radicalized individuals have been found to be working in Canadian airports. Montreal-born Ayanle Hassan Ali, who on March 14, 2016 stabbed two uniformed Canadian soldiers at a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre in Toronto while screaming “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people”, used to work in restricted areas at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Following the stabbing attack, Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesperson Siobhan Desroches told CP24 that the accused, who worked for a third-party tenant of the airport and carried a restricted area identification card, was allowed to enter secured areas at Pearson between December 2008 and March 2009. In a statement provided to CP24, Transport Canada wrote that it “grants a security clearance to applicants who do not pose a risk to transportation security”.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]