Canada's security alert level not raised after media reports of ISIS threats, Ralph Goodale says
Public safety minister says 'no new information' that would change circumstances
Canada has not increased its security alert level amid European reports of an ISIS-linked terror plot that may have been targeting Canadian cities, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Agence France-Presse reported today that Swiss police were searching for four people associated with the jihadist militant group after threats were made against Geneva, Toronto and Chicago.
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Other European media are reporting that Ottawa and Vancouver were also possible targets.
CBC News has not been able to independently confirm the threat.
"If there is any dimension of this situation that relates to Canada we will obviously take appropriate steps. At this point, there is no new information reported to me that would change the circumstances," Goodale told reporters on Parliament Hill. "If there is something new we would obviously let Canadians know immediately and we will take the appropriate steps."
Goodale confirmed that Canada has not raised its security alert level as a result of any new threat.
Heightened security in Geneva
Security has been strengthened in Geneva, especially at the European headquarters of the United Nations, AFP reported.
"We went from a vague threat to a specific threat," AFP quoted Emmanuelle Lo Verso, communications officer of Switzerland's Department of Security, as saying.
The names of four men considered to be supporters of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were contained in a note from the Geneva police that journalists with Tribune de Genève saw, the news agency reported.
The RCMP told CBC News that security and intelligence services are aware of the reports but could not comment on specifics.
"The RCMP continually shares information with its law enforcement partners as part of its everyday activities. We will not comment on potential specific threats," said Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer
The RCMP and its partners remain "vigilant" for potential threats domestically, and take appropriate measures to protect the safety of Canadians, he said.
Pfleiderer said the RCMP urge Canadians to remain alert and to immediately report any suspicious or unusual behaviour to police.
MPs debate on ISIS fight
The reports come on a day when members of Parliament spent the day in the House of Commons debating Canada's role in the fight against ISIS.
Conservatives used their opposition day to grill the government on its plan to pull CF-18 fighter jets from the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. The motion, tabled by Conservative foreign affairs critic Tony Clement, called on the government to remain in the combat role and to "reconfirm our commitment to our allies to stop ISIS."
"Canada's position, once clearly defined under our previous Conservative government, is now hazy and hesitant," Clement said.
But Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada is committed to working "shoulder to shoulder" with coalition partners, in a different but more effective role.
"As career warriors moulded by training, exercises and deployments, our military members are adept in helping other nations build capacity and enabling them to defend themselves," he said. "Having spoken with many of our key allies on this matter, I can say that is this strength that is most needed right now."