When most fathers want to go on a bonding retreat with their adolescent sons, they organize innocuous activities. Think fishing trips or hikes through the verdant country hillsides. This was not the case with Ahmed Khadr, the Egyptian-born Canadian citizen, whose idea of quality time with his sons entailed waging jihad against the West on the foothills of Waziristan.
One of these sons in question was named Omar Khadr, the recent recipient of ten million Canadian smackeroos. But more on him later.
Ahmed would frequently shuttle his family back and forth between Canada, Pakistan, and Afghanistan during the 1990s and early noughts. He had ties to various Islamist bad boys for a while at that point, and even had personal relations with the Grand Wizard Osama himself.
For Ahmed was a long-time fundraiser for jihadist organizations, using various “charitable organizations” as fronts for laundering money to jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Ahmed’s wife, the Palestinian- born Maha el-Samnah, was not a fan of the west either. She wanted to raise her children outside of Canada lest they be corrupted by western values. The children were put through Islamic madrassas from a young age. The daughters were forced to cover up. Frequent discussion among the family entailed lamentations about the loss of purity in Islam at the time.
In fact, so opposed to the west was the Khadr family that their children, including Omar, were trained from very young ages in the arts of bomb-making, shooting, hand-to-hand combat, and other things that normal children don’t tend to do.
From Rolling Stone magazine:
“When [Ahmed’s] children were very young, he told them, "If you love me, pray that I will get martyred." Three times he asked Omar's older brother Abdurahman to become a suicide bomber. It would bring honor to the family, he said. Abdurahman declined. Later, when Ahmed sensed that Abdurahman's faith was weakening, he told him, "If you ever betray Islam, I will be the one to kill you."
Nonetheless in 1995, Ahmed was arrested on charges of financially aiding the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group. He was released after four months due to a lack of evidence.
He relocated his family to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where he and his children joined the Taliban in their holy struggle against the West. This is where both Khadr senior and Khadr junior were thought to have spent time with Osama bin Laden.
In 2002, the young Omar lived in a group home, where he was given further terrorist training by al Qaeda affiliated militants.
In early 2002, in an American raid on the compound, Omar was shot in the chest three times and left nearly-dead. Miraculously, he was still alive, and he threw a grenade that ended up killing American Delta Force Medec Sgt. Christopher Speer.
The young Omar, aged fifteen at the time, was eventually transferred to Guantanamo bay in October 2002, where he was allegedly subject to horrific abuse by American personnel. Throughout the repeated cycles of beatings, torture, and other various humiliations, Omar became more zealous in his faith.
The Canadian government hence wanted to keep tabs on Omar’s mental health. From Wikipedia:
“On March 19th, 2005, Canadian government regular “welfare visits” to Khadr to monitor his behavior… they had reports that he had thrown urine at guards and was refusing to eat.”
The Canadian government had also sent journalists from Foreign Affairs magazine to interview Khadr.
To make a long story short, Khadr eventually pleaded guilty in a plea deal that would allow him to serve out the remainder of his sentence in a Canadian prison after one more year at Guantanamo Bay:
“On October 25, 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to the murder of Speer in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, two counts of providing material support for terrorism and spying. Under the plea deal, Khadr would serve at least one more year in Guantanamo Bay before any transfer to Canadian custody.”
And in September 2012, Khadr was transferred to Canada, where he served the remainder of his sentence.
Which brings us to the crux of the matter. In 2013, Khadr filed a C$20 million civil suit against the government of Canada, claiming that its “welfare visits” to him meant that it had conspired with the United States to deny his inalienable rights. According to Khadr, he was unfairly tried, as he should have been tried as a minor.
On a side note, the weak-kneed Supreme Court of Canada had already agreed with this narrative, stating in 2009 that Khadr’s legal rights were mishandled and that sleep deprivation techniques amounted to violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But did Canada have anything to do with all this? Surely not: this was all the doing of the Americans.
But as the famous old Canadian motto goes: “one should never miss an opportunity to self-flagellate.”
And to bring the whole thing home, on July 4th, 2017, the day marking America’s independence, it was leaked that the Canadian Government, under the Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau, had decided to settle with Khadr for C$10.5 million.
Trudeau was adamant that he made the correct decision:
“If we had continued to fight this, not only would we have inevitably lost, but estimates range from $30 to $40 million that it would have ended up costing the government…This was the responsible path to take.”
Yet Trudeau contradicted this line of reasoning a few days later, when he changed his narrative entirely:
“When governments violate Canadians’ fundamental rights, there have to be consequences and we hope that the message going forward to all future governments is: you can not ignore or be complicit in the violation of Canadians fundamental rights, regardless of what they did.”
Well, one thing is for certain: he certainly would have lost with that mentality. In any case, it displays the shocking fact that Trudeau was not ultimately concerned by the bill to the Canadian taxpayers- he genuinely believed that Khadr deserved the money.
In fact, if it were politically possible, one could imagine Trudeau giving Khadr the entire C$20 million that he had initially demanded, making him one of the wealthiest jihadists on the planet. We all knew that Trudeau was simply lovely.
Yet Trudeau is clearly wrong about the Canadian government “inevitably” losing their case against Khadr. In fact, it had numerous defenses it could have put forth in the case against Khadr.
Firstly, no matter what one thinks of Guantanamo, the fact remains that it was the United States, and not Canada, who initially captured and detained Omar Khadr. It was U.S. soldiers who beat and humiliated Khadr. It was the U.S. who tried Khadr in front of a military tribunal.
All Canada did was send a few journalists and government aid workers to check on the adolescent.
Yet Trudeau believes that this nevertheless amounts to Canada violating Khadr’s human rights. With this line of thinking, I’m not sure what wouldn’t violate his human rights.
But there is a bigger issue here, one that is probably the most important one to arise amidst this entire saga. In my view, whatever the court’s outcome, even if it ended up costing the claimed C$40 million, the Canadian government still should have fought the case to the death simply out of principle. It should have signaled to other jihadis-in-waiting that it has zero tolerance for their mischief, and that it would fight till the very last breath to see that justice has been done.
And now an ex-jihadist traitor to the Canadian state has just becoming staggeringly wealthy. Such is the condition of our times.