Toronto’s (Canada’s largest city) terror plot of 1991 (pre September 11) has been forgotten and become a lost memory to Canadians.
The terror plot was planned by 5 black Muslims who were followers of Jamaat Al Fuqra, a Pakistani movement. They were acquitted of planning to kill 4,500 people within two buildings in Toronto. The attacks were to be done one after the other. At the time of the attack, it was seen as an isolated case but now after a series of planned attacks in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto it has been associated with a series of attacks by Islamist terrorists. Just two years before the first World Trade Centre bombing, and a decade before the 9/11 attacks Toronto was the potential terror plot destination of North America where thousands of people would have died had the terrorists not been on the radar beforehand.
The terror plot was set to blow out during the Hindu festival of Diwali at two separate locations one after the other. The first spot was the India Centre cinema on Gerrard Street with a 500 people capacity (most commonly occupied by Sikhs and Hindus) and the second spot was the Vishnu Hindu Temple, which has a capacity of 4000 (occupied by Hindus of mostly Indian and Caribbean descent) in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Glenn Neville Ford, a Trinidadian convert to Islam who immigrated to Canada in the mid-1970’s is the one who started a group called the Jamaat Al Fuqra which was led by a Pakistani cleric named Sheik Mubarik Ali Gilani.
Gilani was the same man that Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Daniel Pearl was supposed to meet when he was kidnapped and killed in 2002.
Ford coupled with another Torontonian from Trinidad named Max Lon Fongenie and both of them together bought a settlement land on Algonquin Park at Combermere naming it Hasanville (a small settlement for only muslim families).
That same summer, the regular visitors to Hasanville where men by the name of Tyrone Cole, Robert Wesley and Caba Jose Harris—all converts to Islam, from Texas. Police stated that together they started a plan of destruction in Toronto.
In 1991, On October 3rd, Ford and the Texans attempted to enter the US through the Niagara borders where the security at the border found a sheet of paper in their vehicle stating “dying as a soldier of Allah,” as well as floor plans and maps to the cinema and temple.
One of the documents in the car even led police to Brooklyn where they found a room full of guns, weapons and 2000 rounds of ammunition. According to police the four travellers were going to Brooklyn to pick up the ammunition.
8 men were accused. 1 was quickly dismissed. Fongenie escaped to Pakistan. A Brooklyn man pleaded guilty to weapons offences. Ford, the three Texans and another Toronto man, Khidr Ali, were sent to trial.
The three Texans were kept in jail until 2006, for twelve years, after which they were freed. They were convicted for being members of a terrorist movement and for conspiring to commit mischief endangering life.