Ottawa: The Canadian Government has formally designated a Yemen-based al Qaeda group as a terrorist organisation, and banned its entry into Canada.
According to the Globe and Mail, the measure effectively allows Canadians authorities to more easily seize assets and target supporters of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), should any be found in Canada.
The outlawed group has emerged as one of the world`s most significant al Qaeda franchises in the past year.
On December 25, 2009, a Nigerian who was radicalised in Yemen by AQAP – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – tried unsuccessfully to detonate a bomb on a flight bound to Chicago.
In October, AQAP operatives stashed powerful bombs in printer cartridges, and tried to ship the deadly packages to the United States on cargo plane. The packages were intercepted.
A radical cleric who is affiliated with AQAP, Anwar Al-Awlaki, is a fugitive in Yemen – and apparently marked for death by the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Other AQAP operatives in Yemen publish an English-language magazine known as Inspire, which circulates widely on the Internet, and is meant to tutor young Westerners in how to plot terrorist attacks.
Canadian officials are more deliberative than US counterparts, who designated AQAP as a banned terrorist group last winter.
In March, Ottawa also formally designated the al-Shabab Islamist militia in Somalia as a banned terrorist entity.