In Conversation with Mubin Shaikh: From Salafi Jihadist to Undercover Agent inside the “Toronto 18” Terrorist Group

Stefano Bonino


This interview with former undercover agent Mubin Shaikh can help academics and security practitioners understand the key role played and the challenges faced by covert human intelligence sources within domestic terrorist groups. The interview highlights the identity crisis, the personal factors, and the allure of jihadi militancy that initially drove Mubin Shaikh to join a Salafi jihadist group. It investigates Shaikh’s process of disengagement from the Salafi jihadist belief system and his rediscovery of a moderate, inclusive, and benevolent form of Islam. It explores his work as an undercover agent for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team responsible for disrupting domestic terrorist groups. The “Toronto 18” terrorist cell, the key role played by undercover agents in preventing terrorist action, and the challenges posed by entrapment are also discussed.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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