Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 – Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown, Terrorism in the West by Anne Speckhard (Author), Mubin Shaikh (Author), Jessica Stern (Foreword)


Mubin Shaikh is a courageous hero that risked it all to go undercover to infiltrate and ultimately stop the Toronto 1Mubin 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.8, a group that plotted to storm the Canadian Parliament, behead the Prime Minister and explode truck bombs all around Toronto. Unfortunately with the arrests and convictions of many, extremism in Canada did not disappear and has in fact explosively grown in recent years. The original plot to storm Parliament was sadly carried out in October of 2014 just as this book was released. A gunman, likely inspired by ISIS, shot a soldier before entering the Parliament to cause more death and destruction and was thankfully stopped before he did. Clearly we need more heroes like Mubin Shaikh! — Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

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Mubin Shaikh: Undercover Jihadi

Published on Nov 27, 2014
At the age of 19, Mubin Shaikh, born and raised in Canada, travelled to Syria to study militant jihadism. He later renounced his jihadist beliefs and volunteered at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) where he infiltrated the “Toronto 18,” Canada’s largest domestic terrorism case. Mubin sits down with Steve Paikin to discuss his book, “Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown Terrorism in the West.”

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