Montreal's anti-radicalization centre gets 125 calls in two months

Montreal police say the city's new anti-radicalization centre, established by Mayor Denis Coderre in March, has already received 125 calls.

Police say calls to tip line included tips and requests for help

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced creation of antiradicalization centre in March. (CBC)

Montreal police say the city's new anti-radicalization centre, established by Mayor Denis Coderre in March to gather information and offer advice on the phenomenon of young people joining extremist groups, has already received more than 100 calls.

The centre is still in the process of being created, but a police tip line was set up immediately.

In an email to CBC Tuesday, Montreal police said between March 9 and May 19 the centre received 125 calls.

The email said five of the calls were direct requests for help — one of them coming from Collège de Maisonneuve, a school attended by some young people with suspected links to radical groups. 

Five students from that college flew to Turkey to fight with ISIS in Syria in January.

Three weeks ago, four other College Maisonneuve students were arrested trying to leave the country at the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

A community police officer is now stationed temporarily at the college. Police said it's the only educational facility with such an arrangement.

Police said three of the calls to the anti-radicalization centre have resulted in "direct interventions," without further explanation.

RCMP search Collège de Maisonneuve

Collège de Maisonneuve spokeswoman Brigitte Desjardins confirmed to CBC on Tuesday that the RCMP executed search warrants at the college last week, searching some students' lockers.  According to Desjardins, investigators didn't find anything suspicious.

A committee formed to set up the anti-radicalization centre is now searching for a physical space to house it. They're also recruiting a director to lead the centre.

The email said once the centre is established it will be completely independent from the Montreal police force.


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