I doubt if Canada will be attacked for several reasons. The first is that it seems to me that al-Qaida’s strategy is to try to separate the countries that supported the Iraq war from those who didn’t, and to try to crumble that coalition. Therefore, the countries that are at the greatest risk are European countries that are easy to gain access to, that have weak governments, and that supported the war. Spain, Italy, the U.K.
The other reason is that Canada is across the ocean and far from the current struggle. On the other hand, our lax immigration and fairly large Muslim population makes it quite likely that there are already al-Qaida cells set up here.
On the other hand…
I’ve been listening to terrorism experts lately saying that al-Qaida has morphed. It used to have a fairly rigid top-down structure, with Bin Laden at the top, his deputies below, and major attacks coordinated by them. But the U.S. has actually been pretty good at smashing this up. A number of high-ranking al-Qaida people are captured or dead. The others are probably so deep in hiding that it’s hard for them to plan day-to-day activities. So al-Qaida has metasticized. The various cells around the world are now on their own, planning their own attacks without central control. The general strategy is still laid out from the top and distributed on web sites and other communications networks, but it’s up to various splinter groups and cells to decide where, when, and how to attack.
This would also explain why the latest attacks haven’t been as deadly or sophisticated - the local groups just don’t have the resources Bin Laden had before. So instead of huge, spectacular attacks once every few years we could be looking at kind of a steady-state level of smaller attacks. Any idiot with an internet connection can learn how to make bombs. So we’ll see fewer sophisticated coordinated attacks and more bombings.
So whether Canada gets hit soon or not could have less to do with the al-Qaida ‘master plan’, and more to do with pure chance - if there’s a cell here that happens to have a good target and enough resources to pull off an attack, we’ll be hit. If not, we won’t.