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Canadian Citizen Pleaded Guilty to ISIS Activities and People's Convoy Fires Shots at Protesters

April 28-May 04, 2022 | Issue 6 - NORTHCOM

Savannah Fellows, Gabriel Mariotti, Rhiannon Thomas, NORTHCOM Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers[1]



Date: April 28, 2022

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Parties involved: Convicted terrorist Hussein Borhot; The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); Calgary Courts; Canadian government; Canadian security forces; Canadian citizens; ISIS; terrorist groups

The event: On Thursday, April 28, Canadian citizen Hussein Borhort pleaded guilty to participating in terrorist group activity and the commission of kidnapping for ISIS. In 2014, Borhot traveled to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS and receive training, becoming a sniper. He told an undercover officer that he had sworn an oath of allegiance to ISIS and wished to return to Syria to fight. After a seven-year investigation, the RCMP arrested Borhot in July 2020.[2] Research indicates several ISIS members from Canada have traveled and aided ISIS in Syria, as evidenced by the arrests of Canadian individuals.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Canadian public will likely question the effectiveness of police and security forces due to the investigation lasting seven years. Feelings of insecurity are likely to increase as a result, and the public will likely call for the Canadian government to increase support for anti-terrorism efforts to deter Canadians from joining ISIS. The perceived ineffectiveness of Canadian security will likely result in social unrest as there is a roughly even chance of protests for improved security occurring.

  • Borhot almost certainly communicated with ISIS from Canada before traveling to receive training. Terrorist groups are very likely to utilize technological advancements to communicate across large distances to spread their ideology and recruit individuals to their organization. The ease of internet access almost certainly enables threat actors to connect with like-minded individuals and very likely enables groups to coordinate terrorism-related activity. Borhot is likely one of many Canadian individuals who have communicated with ISIS online, very likely maintaining the threat to Canadian security.

  • There is a roughly even chance other individuals in Canada associated with ISIS will seek revenge on law enforcement, by threatening or targeting violent acts towards them, in opposition to Borhot’s sentencing. ISIS members will very likely attempt to undermine Canadian security efforts by aiming to commit violent acts and evade law enforcement, almost certainly to intimidate the public and increase tensions between security forces and Canadian citizens. This will almost certainly impact security effectiveness as cooperation will likely be limited by citizens who perceive current security as ineffective.


Date: May 1, 2022

Location: Oregon, USA

Parties involved: People’s Convoy; Oregon Police; Protesters

The event: On Friday, May 1, a People’s Convoy member fired shots during a confrontation between the People’s Convoy and protesters near the Northeast Glisan Street overpass over Interstate 205. The People’s Convoy consists of a group of trucks and other vehicles protesting COVID-19 restrictions with blockades. The convoy stopped to confront protesters throwing eggs and red paint on their vehicles from the overpass. No one was hurt, and no arrests were made. The convoy has shifted focus from COVID-19 restrictions, since they were lifted, to claiming they protest in the name of ‘freedom’ and protest other issues such as abortion.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The convoy’s changed protest target very likely shows that its mission is shifting to include other conservative issues, such as gun rights, likely enabling the convoy to build support beyond its original purpose. This will almost certainly improve the convoy’s ability to voice its opinions about abortion and likely other conservative issues.

  • There is a roughly even chance the convoy will conduct disruptive protesting methods, such as blocking roads and building entrances, to force policy changes in their favor. Blocked access will almost certainly anger citizens which will likely lead to more counter-protests, with a roughly even chance of turning violent and leading to injuries. Large protests will very likely block transport routes through major cities and major roads, very likely disrupting trading routes and likely worsening supply chain issues in the US.

  • The shots fired were very likely symbolic rather than an act of aggression, likely meant to intimidate protesters throwing eggs and paint off the overpass. There is a roughly even chance some convoy members will view carrying firearms as a tactic to lessen protests’ effectiveness, likely increasing the number of convoy members carrying firearms. Protesters along the People’s Convoy route will likely seek possession of firearms for safety and power purposes after the convoy used it as a power tactic, very likely increasing the chance for violent confrontation and injuries to occur.

  • The incident will likely provoke animosity towards the People’s Convoy from protesters with similar views as those on the overpass, very likely leading to more protests and confrontation as the People’s Convoy continues protesting COVID-19 restrictions and other conservative issues. This will almost certainly increase pressure on the government to reach a compromise with the convoy to avoid further social unrest. If the government decides to compromise, protesters will likely perceive the government as unable to stand up to pressure, likely increasing feelings of insecurity and unrest among protestors.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Royal Canadian Mounted Police” by Nicolas Blouin licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Calgary man admits to terrorism charges related to Islamic State, National Post, April 2022, https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/calgary-man-admits-to-terrorism-charges-related-to-islamic-state

[3] Canadian ISIS member caught in Syria flown to U.S. to face terrorism charges, Global News, October 2021, https://globalnews.ca/news/8238610/canadian-isis-member-flown-to-u-s/

[4] Gun fired on Oregon highway during 'People's Convoy' confrontation, SF Gate, May 2022, https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/gun-fired-on-Oregon-highway-peoples-convoy-17139939.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-CP-Spotlight

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