As the world reacted with horror to a terrorist attack in London that claimed seven innocent lives on Saturday, one expert said that while no country is entirely safe, Canadians shouldn’t be overly fearful of similar acts within their country.

“Every country, including Canada, has potential danger within its border,” said Michel Juneau-Katsuya, CEO of the Northgate Group security company and a former intelligence officer for CSIS. “That said, there is a significant difference between the old European countries and Canada. Their historical and social paths have been very, very different.”

Juneau-Katsuya said many European countries, including England, have struggled with integrating immigrants, which has led to terrorist groups finding large amounts of young men ready to be recruited.

“They eventually ended up creating a certain problem by having some ethnic ghettos that started to emerge decades ago. These areas, where a great part of the immigrant found itself, unemployment, social difficulties, violence and criminality prevail. That became very fertile ground for the recruitment of young, disenfranchised youth who eventually turn radical.”

He observed that the perpetrators of recent attacks in England, France and Belgium were either born or raised in the countries in which they acted. He called on the Canadian government to do a better job of unifying Canadians as a means of preventing any future attacks.  

“If there’s any lesson to be learned when we watch what Europe is undergoing, we need to wake up in Canada,” he said. “We need the government to take leadership and start working in bringing together the community, supporting events and initiatives, where stable and solid unification of our community brings us together and we don’t find anybody left out, isolated or disenfranchised.”

Juneau-Katsuya said the recent surge in European attacks could be an attempt by ISIS, engaged in war in Syria, to relieve some of the pressure by focusing their enemies’ energy elsewhere. He pointed out that many of the recent incidents have been low-tech, using vehicles, knives and guns, a strategy that can be easily copied by sympathizers.

“Some supporters are seeing attacks taking place which appears to be, from a terrorists’ point of view, successful,” he said. “It kind of encourages other to maybe go into action themselves.”