Three Muslim University of Manitoba students have been missing since 2007 when they mysteriously left Winnipeg for Pakistan. They are being investigated as part of what the Globe and Mail calls “one of Canada’s most expensive and elaborate national security investigations since 9/11.”
RCMP counter-terrorism unit officers from across the country, and CSIS agents have descended on Winnipeg as part of the probe. The American Federal Bureau of investigation has “dispatched agents to the Middle East as part of their hunt, and the young men have been the subject of secret briefings to U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama,” the Globe reported.
Ferid Imam, Muhannad al-Farekh and Miawand Yar have not been in contact with their families and the investigation has caused broader distress among the Winnipeg Muslim community. Officers have interviewed several other men in relation to the case. “It’s been going on for three years. Families have come to me for stress and counselling,” Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association, told the Winnipeg Free Press.
As of Friday, the RCMP is treating the students as officially missing, and would not comment on the nature of the investigation.