Three men killed overseas identified by Edmonton Police as high-risk travellers
Metro | January 15, 2015
Edmonton police have confirmed they were aware of three young men who allegedly traveled to Syria to fight with extremists before learning of their death through the media.
EPS Deputy chief Brian Simpson said police had identified the men as high-risk travellers and had been working with RCMP on the case, but were limited in what they could do because of the information they had at the time.
“The challenge with the policing environment in Canada, is when something happens overseas the policing ability to get information in a timely fashion is dependent on the government in power and the processes in place,” he said.
Simpson couldn’t confirm the exact time when police learned the men had been killed, but noted EPS became aware of the deaths through the media.
He said police have seen a huge increase in the number of investigations of radicalized residents over the last year, which are resource intensive.
Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy called the death of the three Edmonton men disturbing and said more needs to be done to prevent more Canadians from being recruited.
“I have been asking the government for a long time to do a national inquiry to find out who is brainwashing them, who is funding the travel, who is facilitating their travel,” he said.
Soharwardy said he believes people are being targeted by local recruiters.
Edmonton police generally first learn of cases like this through the community, Simpson added, and then the EPS will kick of an investigation if warranted.
Media reported Wednesday the young men were cousins and had been radicalized in Edmonton before traveling overseas to fight with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant