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Dr. Joti Samra interviewed by News 1130 – More “lone wolf” attacks expected: Foreign Affairs and Defense Expert

(Joanne Abshire October 23, 2014)


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Foreign Affairs and Defense expert says more acts of “terror” like in Ottawa are expected. SFU Professor Douglas Ross says there are several hundred young men identified by CSIS or the RCMP as radicals, and about 90 of them had their passports taken away.


He says many are probably angry and will use violence to express their frustration. “They’ve probably been fed ideas or proposals from people in Europe and or the Middle East who are attached to or are sympathetic to ISIS and so there will probably be more so called lone wolf attacks. If they stay lone wolves, that are just as well because an organization will be just as tougher to do deal with, but when you’re dealing with lone wolves it may also be difficult to keep track of them, to monitor them.”


He says Ottawa may need to implement new laws to try to curb the violence from radicals.


“It may lead to a debate I would guess sometime in the coming weeks, if there are any further attacks for possible preventive detention. We would have to have legislation enabling the authorities to detain people for periods of time just to make sure that they are not able to or not inclined to launch any particular attacks on government. Preventive detention that is something I’m sure the government will try to propose they might feel really it’s unavoidable if we get a few more attacks.”


Other precautionary measures to consider, he says Ottawa may need to ramp up security at government buildings.


People impacted by traumatic attack may not feel affects until months later: psychologist


Psychologist Dr. Joti Samra says without a doubt it’ll affect people who heard or saw what happened, to the point where many including their family members will likely get critical stress debriefing. She says traumatic events can cause changes in a person’s mood, energy sometimes resulting in anxiety and depression which may not be seen right away.


“We need to realize that traumatic events like this tend to have a number of wide ranging impacts on mood, and energy, anxiety, depression, and some of those affects may not be seen immediately. There’s certainly the likelihood that for a number of people the impacts will be delayed by days, weeks or even months.”


She says people will be thrown back into what she calls a new normal, where things may not be the same.


“What happens when we undergo any kind of trauma or exposure to trauma, where there’s the actual or potential threat to our life, that our body goes into survival mode and it’s very normal to have an initial shock reaction, where you don’t belief what’s happening, you’re trying to make sense of the nonsensical and it can take a little bit of time for our brain to process an event like this…But when we’re in a position where we are exposed to something traumatic like this, that implementing structure and routine is quickly as we can is one of the most important things to do.”


She says there’s value in getting support or counselling even for those that weren’t directly involved in the tragedy.


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