Trudeau government removes Armed Islamic Group from terrorist list

'There are no longer reasonable grounds for the entity to remain as a listed entity,' read the June 7 federal posting, which announced the delisting of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group based in Algeria.

Trudeau government removes Armed Islamic Group from terrorist list
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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Federal Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc quietly removed the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) from Canada's official terrorism list.

The group, which has given material, logistic and financial support to the Taliban, remains a listed terror entity by the United Nations Security Council.

However, the men's drinking club, the Proud Boys, remains a banned terrorism group in Canada, alongside Al Shabaab, Boko Haram and the Japanese death cult Aum Shinrikio.

The GIA  based in Algeria and founded by fighters in the first Afghanistan war  has been guilty of targeting intellectuals and civilians.

Reviewed by the UN as recently as 2022, the GIA (from the French Groupe Islamic Arme) has been found to have participated in the "financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf, or in support of,” “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaeda.

The GIA is responsible for several significant acts of terrorism:

- In December 1994, they hijacked an Air France flight in Algiers intending to crash it into Paris. During the hijacking, one passenger was executed.
- In 1995, they carried out a series of bombings in France, which killed 10 people and injured more than 200. The attacks targeted subways in Paris, outdoor markets, a Jewish school, and a high-speed train. Several GIA members were convicted in France for these crimes in late 1999.
- In 1996, they kidnapped and assassinated seven monks from the monastery of Tibehirine, Algeria.
- In the same year, they assassinated the Catholic Bishop of Oran, Algeria, who was a proponent of interfaith dialogue.
- On July 5, 2002, they bombed a marketplace in Larbaa, Algeria, on Algerian Independence Day, killing 35 people.
- Between 1995 and the late 1990s, they were responsible for massacres of entire villages and families, resulting in the deaths of several hundred people.

A review of Canada's banned terrorism entities list is conducted by the minister every five years to determine whether an entity should remain listed.

Entities may apply for a judicial review by the Federal Court. Both ministerial and judicial reviews are published in the Canada Gazette.

A designation of being a terrorist entity in Canada results in sanctions, including:

  • a prohibition on the export of arms and related material or explosives to any designated person;
  • a prohibition on the provision to any designated person of any technical assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material or explosives;
  • a prohibition on providing or collecting funds with the intention that the funds be used, or in the knowledge that the funds are to be used, by a designated person;
  • an assets freeze against any designated person.

The removal of a designation removes these sanctions and the prohibitions on support or promotion of the organization and permits entry of individuals affiliated with the entity to Canada.

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