by Anne SpeckhardMubin Shaikh was born and raised in Toronto, Canada amidst twenty-first century, Western values. He attended public school. But at night, his parents insisted he also attend Islamic madrasa.
Mubin joined the Canadian Army Cadets, used drugs, had sex and partied just like the other kids. He fit right in—until he didn’t.
Going through an acute identity crisis at age nineteen, Mubin recommitted himself to Islam. But a chance encounter with the Taliban in Pakistan and then exposure to Canadian extremists took him down the militant jihadi path.
Mubin initially celebrated the 9-11 attacks, although he found the killing of innocent civilians in the name of Islam disturbing. 9-11 prompted him to travel again, to Syria—to become involved in the “great jihad”—the Muslim version of the final apocalypse in “the land of Sham and the Two Rivers.” There he learned the truth of his religion and faced a fork in the road.
Mubin went back in—but this time working undercover with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Ultimately joining the “Toronto 18”, Mubin walked a tightrope between Western culture and Islamic jihad. Risking everything, he gathered inside information about the group’s plans for catastrophic terror attacks—to detonate truck bombs around the city of Toronto, behead the Prime Minister, and storm the Parliament Building in retaliation for Western intervention in Muslim lands. Their cadres included Americans who had similar ideas for Washington, D.C.
Mubin Shaikh is one of the very few people in the world to have actually been undercover in a homegrown terror cell. His is a story of growing up Muslim in an age where militant jihad is glorified, of being caught between two identities and finally emerging victorious.
Because of this courageous experience, Shaikh is considered an expert for topics related to radicalization and violent extremism and has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBC, CNN and multiple outlets to speak on these topics. He remains closely connected to various governments and their national security functions.
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