Terrorism in the country of maple syrup and beavers? How quaint.
Absurd as it sounds, when news that two men had been arrested in Canada on charges connected with a plot to derail a passenger train near Toronto, according to the Canadian Press, many reacted on Twitter with jokes.
Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday morning on charges of conspiracy to murder in connection with a terrorist group, CP reported.
While friendly-Canadian stereotypes might be amusing for tourist tales, it's unnerving that terrorism could evoke such a lighthearted reaction. From jokes about Céline Dion to the film Argo, even Fox News joined in with the handful of people who were apparently under the impression that when violence is threatened in Canada, it's good for a hearty laugh.
Shepard Smith, a Fox anchor, introduced a press conference about the story by mocking the police officer's bilingualism.
"It's how they roll," he said.
He added, sarcastically, that he was sure the details would be "fascinating." However, Canadian journalists also noted the press conference was unusually slow-paced and uninformative.
I've lost count of speakers. @bcheadle Not a world record but the weight of verbiage to actual news in this RCMP newser is astounding.
— kady o'malley (@kady) April 22, 2013
Certainly, others criticized distasteful comments and many were engaged with the situation. Here is a selection of Tweets on the subject, both intelligent and — otherwise.
They have terrorism in Canada now? — Refe Tuma (@RefeUp) April 22, 2013
It’s terrific the cops broke this up, but eventually one of these plots is going to succeed. We are a target, whether we realize it or not. — Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) April 22, 2013
Canada thwarted a terror attempt against an Amtrak train.Their Prime Minister released the following statement:"What did we do, eh?" — Blaise Miller (@BlaiseInKC) April 22, 2013
Hooray for Canada. I'm a big fan of the place. I like to think the terror plot was foiled by Constable Benton Fraser from Due South. — Marcus Payne (@nowtro) April 22, 2013
Cmon terrorists...Canada? Trying to antagonize the world's nicest people really doesn't strike me as a winning strategy. — ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 22, 2013
Scary stuff. RCMP has stop a terror attack on VIA rail around Toronto. Yes, on Canada soil. We are not immune to terror. — S Vongnaraj(@SanKVongnaraj) April 22, 2013