Odartey-Wellington, Felix (2004) The al-Qaeda sleeper cell that never was : the Canadian news media, state security apparatus and 'Operation Thread'. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
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In late August of 2003, the Canadian and international media broke news of Operation Thread, executed by the Canadian state security apparatus to apprehend 24 Muslim members of a "possible al-Qaeda sleeper cell" in Toronto. After creating a moral panic and exposing the suspects to domestic and international opprobrium, the state security apparatus conceded that they had not been engaged in terrorism. Treating Operation Thread as a discursive crisis in Canada, based on its links with the topical issues of immigration, terrorism, Islam, Arabs, and Muslims in the post-9/11 era, this thesis is an epistemological and analytical study of the operation by the Canadian state security apparatus and the news media. Using the contents of the two Canadian national dailies-- the National Post and The Globe and Mail --as resources, it employs Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to deconstruct the signification of Operation Thread by the state apparatuses. This research found that the news media privileged the dominant discourses of 'Islamic Terrorism' that the state security apparatus articulated regarding the 'operation.' The thesis however confirms that while news is an "ally of legitimated groups" (Tuchman 1978) and is both a resource and product of power; its contents are hegemonically determined and hence open to contestation. The latter point suggests that there is some room for intervention by civil society organizations advocating on behalf of marginalized and discriminated groups in Canadian society.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies|
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Pagination:||vi, 106 leaves ; 29 cm.|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Jiwani, Yasmin|
|Deposited By:||Concordia University Libraries|
|Deposited On:||18 Aug 2011 14:13|
|Last Modified:||18 Aug 2011 14:13|
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