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Terror threat in Canada ‘elevated’ after Moscow attack, says Petraeus

Retired U.S. general David Petraeus says the risk of a terror attack in Canada is “elevated” following an attack at a concert hall in Moscow that left 139 dead last week, for which an ISIS splinter group claimed responsibility.

Petraeus told The West Block host Mercedes Stephenson that an attack of such a scale makes the current state of extremism and global instability “very worrisome.”

“What actually keeps me awake at night… is the fact that we face more threats and more complex threats than we have at any time since the end of the Cold War, if not the end of World War Two,” said Petraeus, who is a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

An Islamic State group known as ISIS-K has since claimed responsibility for the attack in Moscow that killed 139 people and left nearly 200 more injured. Eight men have appeared in court in the Russian capital as authorities continue to search for survivors and bodies in the now-ruined Crocus City Hall concert venue.

The tragedy is considered to be the deadliest terrorist attack on Russian soil in two decades.

Petraeus says the risk of an attack in Canada and the rest of the world is now “elevated.”

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“I think it has to be. And, I’m sure that that’s the assessment here in the United States as well… Every time one of these succeeds, it inspires copycats. It motivates them to try to do this as well. So I think that this is a significant threat worldwide,” he said.

The attack occurred on March 22 as crowds gathered to watch a performance by Russian rock band Picnic. According to video from the scene, several men raided the venue and opened fire on the crowd. At some point, a blaze erupted in the concert hall and the roof of the building caved in.

Canada’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) warned last month that extremists motivated by the Israel-Hamas conflict could attack crowds at events in Canada.

Such an attack would likely be carried out by a “radicalized lone actor” using readily available weapons, ITAC wrote in the briefs circulated last October and released to Global News.

Petraeus says the Moscow attack came as a shock. He says the U.S. has sources and methods to warn Russia about possible terrorist attacks, which it has successfully done twice in the past, but “they obviously missed this one.”

Petraeus said on The West Block that the U.S., its partners and allies all have “plates spinning on sticks,” each representing different complex challenges to maintain peace.

Petraeus refers to tensions within China as one example, Iran’s nuclear program, and Russia, “which has gotten more menacing and dangerous.”

“There are cyber threat plates, nation states, extremist groups, criminals, you name it,” he said.

“So you put all of that together and it’s really trying to keep all these plates spinning without allowing any of the significant ones to drop. And that is a major challenge. It’s one that we all have to work together to do. And it highlights again why it’s so important that each individual country pulls its share of the load and then works in tandem with all the others,” he said.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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