Canadian military helicopter and police boat patrol Peninsula Lake on the eve of leaders arriving to the Muskoka 2010 G8 summit at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ont., on Thursday June 24, 2010. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ontario police investigate note threatening to destroy ‘beaches from Toronto to North Bay’

Share

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are investigating a bizarre letter that claims responsibility for destroying beaches in the Muskoka region and threatens the destruction of “beaches from Toronto to North Bay,” as well as attacks on other infrastructure.

The letter signed by the so-called Islamic Revolutionary Force, a previously unknown entity, claims to have destroyed “beaches over the winter months with snowmobiles, easily and effectively making them unsafe and all but unusable.”

It also warns that unlike larger cities, Ontario’s northern towns “are extremely easy targets.”

“Yes we cannot pull off anything like 9-11,” the letter says. “But we can destroy your tourist industry, hurt your people, de-rail your trains, poison your water supply, start devastating forest fires.”

The letter claims these actions are driven by the fact that Canadian society rejects Islam and follows “the Great Satan.”

“Infidels you allow your women to disgracefully shamelessly parade around your beaches all but naked!” the letter says.

Letter sent to local newspaper

Sgt. Peter Leon, a spokesperson for the OPP Central Region, said investigators were called in last Friday, shortly after a copy of the letter was received at the offices of the Huntsville Forester, a local newspaper.

“We got an investigation that is currently under way, obviously the letter itself was written in a manner that was threatening in nature,” Leon told Radio Canada International.

“I think, first and foremost, we have to determine if the threats that were made are in fact valid, and if we do determine that, it’s then a matter of trying to identify the person or persons responsible for the letter and holding them accountable for their actions.”

Leon would not say whether the OPP has requested help from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the country’s domestic spy agency.

OPP officials will be in touch with municipal authorities to update them on any possible threats and progress in the investigation, Leon said.

Broken glass, nails, screws and sewing needles found

John Sisson, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Bracebridge, one of the six municipalities in the district of Muskoka, said in late April municipal officials in Bracebridge and neighbouring Gravenhurst received reports of some hazardous materials being found at several area beaches.

“Basically there was broken glass, it looked like remnants of a broken bottle or two that had been found, the glass had been worn down a fair bit but there were shards of glass and there were several sewing needles actually that were found,” Sisson said.

Municipal crews that were send to clean up the Bracebridge Bay Park and Kirby’s Beach Park also found some nails and screws, he said.

While finding broken glass, nails and screws is not at all unusual, finding sewing needles in the sand is far less common, Sisson said.

“Although we don’t want to be alarmist about anything, we took the letter seriously,” Sisson said.

“We’ve conducted further reviews of the beaches ourselves, we’re looking at deploying additional resources to scour the beaches to see if there is any other material there but at this point in time we’re hoping that the OPP would be able to give us some further information about the threat that had been received.”

Hoax or a real threat?

Jeremy Littlewood, who teaches at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa and specializes in security and terrorism studies, said his initial reaction upon reading a copy of the note was that police were likely dealing with a prank.

“There are a lot of things which are a bit odd about it,” Littlewood said.

The threat of setting off devastating forest fires is something that comes up occasionally but has never been used as a terror tactic as far as researchers know, Littlewood said.

Poisoning water supply is also not as easy as it sounds, he said.

The note’s phraseology, especially the way it refers to Prophet Muhammad and the Koran, also raises some doubts about whether it was actually written be a devout Muslim, Littlewood said.

But the note does suggest some knowledge of possible threat areas and that some thought has gone into thinking about potential ways of causing damage, he said.

“Whether it’s a hoax or whether it is for real or whether it is being put out by somebody who is trying to apportion blame – the whole idea of making it look like it’s one group when in reality people behind it have a different ideology – there are lots of unanswered questions at this point.”

Share
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Ontario police investigate note threatening to destroy ‘beaches from Toronto to North Bay’
  1. J.W. Wickstrom says:

    Another lonely misguided lunatic, without the resources in place to get the help they need.