OPINION

Geraldo Rivera: O (please) Canada, an open letter to critics

FILE - This undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry is to travel to the Middle East this week, with stops in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to try to line up support for a coalition to take on the extremist Islamic State group. His trip follows Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s visit on Monday to Turkey to make the same case to Ankara, a regional heavyweight. Kerry will hold talks with officials from Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf nations. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

FILE - This undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry is to travel to the Middle East this week, with stops in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to try to line up support for a coalition to take on the extremist Islamic State group. His trip follows Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s visit on Monday to Turkey to make the same case to Ankara, a regional heavyweight. Kerry will hold talks with officials from Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf nations. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)  (AP)

First of all, please quote me honestly and calmly, and try not to resort to the self-serving, often obscene, sometimes racist ranting that your supposedly polite nation has rained down on me since my Facebook post, which alleged that “every Muslim extremist attack since 9/11 has come from the northern, not the southern, border.

Tens of thousands of you, including Pam Lambo the Senior Public Affairs Advocacy Officer at your embassy in Washington D.C., angrily pointed out (in her case politely) that the 9/11 hijackers did not come from Canada.

I never said they did.

I said every attack since 9/11 had come from the north not the south. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word since as:

"In the period after a specified time in the past: Subsequently, (as in) has since become rich."

Other examples given by the dictionary: “…has stayed there ever since.” “She graduated four years ago and has since married.” And, “he left home two years ago and has since become a soldier.”

In the common English that the majority of people in our nations have spoken since colonizing the New World, since equals after. In other words, what I said was that the only cross-border Muslim extremist terror attack on the United States after September 11, 2001 came from the Northern (Canada) border not the Southern (Mexico) border, which is the obsession of America’s politicians and pundits alike.

Further, you must know that if I intended to charge absurdly that the 9/11 hijackers came from Canada I would have said so in plain language, your cascade of insults notwithstanding. You are being extremely defensive, intentionally confrontational or blatantly self-serving in accusing me of not knowing where the 9/11 hijackers came from. A native-born New Yorker, I lost friends and neighbors in the 9/11 attacks and, after filing hundreds of reports from Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere, I know exactly where the 9/11 attackers came from.

Now, I’ll move on to my contention that subsequent acts of terror emanated from Canada rather than Mexico. First, there have been some previous acts of Islamist terror from Canada into the United States. (There have been none from Mexico).

Abu Mezer and Lafi Khalil were Palestinian-born Hamas terrorists captured when heavily armed cops stormed their Brooklyn New York apartment in August 1997. The men, who infiltrated the U.S. from Canada in July 1997, were shot and wounded by cops. Five pipe bombs, which the terrorists planned to use to blow up Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue Subway, were found in the apartment.

Ahmed Ressam also known as the Millennium Bomber, planned to blow up Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Ressam, who was trying to infiltrate the U.S. from Vancouver, Canader, was captured in December 1999 in Port Angeles, Washington thanks to the great work of U.S. Customs inspector Diana Dean. Ressam’s vehicle was jammed with enough explosives to wreak murder and mayhem at the airport, America’s third busiest. Also eventually arrested in the conspiracy were Abdelmajid Dahoumane and Mokhtar Haouri, all illegally present in Canada.

Ressam was later linked with Zacharias Moussaoui, the al-Qaeda member arrested in August 2001 and known as “the 20th hijacker.”

America’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in December 2010, that, “the terrorist threat on the northern border is higher, (than the southern border) given the large expanse of area with limited law enforcement coverage.”

In February 2011, Senator Joseph Lieberman, then Senate Homeland Security chair, reached the same conclusion, saying that while Americans traditionally view their border with Mexico as more porous and dangerous, the Homeland Security Agency has concluded the risk of terrorist activity across the northern border is actually higher than across the southern border. “Why? Because there are more Islamist extremist groups in Canada than Mexico,” said Sen. Lieberman.

Indeed, your own “2014 Public Report On The Terrorist Threat To Canada” states, “The Government is aware of about 80 individuals who have returned to Canada after travel abroad for a variety of suspected terrorism-related purposes.”

Now to my point about extremist Muslim cross-border attacks since, that is, after 9/11.

In April 2013, Canadian authorities arrested Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal for allegedly attempting to carry out an al-Qaida-linked plot to blow up a Toronto to New York train and possibly key bridges as the train traveled via Niagara Falls and Buffalo into the United States. The pair is charged with “conspiring to carry out an attack against, and conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group. “

“This is the first known al-Qaeda planned attack that we’ve experienced in Canada,” said Doug Best, superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It is also the only Muslim extremist attack on the United States across either the northern or southern borders since, that is, after 9/11.

Geraldo Rivera currently serves as a roaming correspondent-at-large for Fox News Channel. He joined the network in 2001 as a war correspondent.