Listeners to University of Alberta campus radio station CJSR have long been accustomed to the myriad of amateur DJs uttering “ummm” and “uhhh” every time they announce a set of arcane music on-air. But imagine how surprised audiences would be if they discovered that those awkward deliveries are apparently no accident.
In a recently leaked report submitted to the federal government by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CJSR has been using erratic speech to send coded messages to a number of terrorist sleeper cells all over Edmonton. Messages include selected targets for terrorists to hit, high-profile personalities pegged for assassination and restaurants that offer the best hummus in the area.
The list of terrorist groups actually tuning in are numerous and a number of theme-oriented programs are obligingly transmitting their inarticulate announcements accordingly. Several eclectic shows are dispatching missions to groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda. The feminist shows Adamant Eve and Hey Grrrl are sending coded messages to militant lesbians. Another show, Hamster Tales, is broadcasting suggested activities to advocates of bestiality. And in one blatant slip-up, Soul In the City dedicates airtime to a senile hippie in Riverdale who still believes he’s providing critical information to now-defunct ’60s radical groups including the Weathermen Underground and the Youth International Party.
So far, there have not been any instances of actual terrorist activity as CSIS claims that the abilities of terrorist groups to decode those messages are still works in progress. But there was one documented close call when a sleeper cell received a message to apparently bomb an armoured personnel carrier at the Edmonton Garrison in Sturgeon County. After intercepting and properly decoding the message, CSIS alerted Canadian Armed Forces to defuse a bomb planted underneath the chassis of a Shriner’s mini-car in a west-end Edmonton garage.
How CJSR wound up in league with these terrorist groups is anyone’s guess, but a CSIS operative believes it all has to do with funding. CJSR normally gets a cut of fees subsiding the Students’ Union as part of tuition costs, although students have the right not to pay them.
“I mean, what would you do if you were a student forced to listen to a station that refuses to play Katy Perry and Nickelback?” said the operative. “I wouldn’t blame them for not paying. It looks like enough students withheld their funding to the point where CJSR desperately had to look for more radical sources of funding. And that’s why we’re monitoring them more closely than ever.”
One volunteer DJ, speaking on conditions of anonymity, denies the allegations, but welcomes the subversive listenership. “I never thought anyone even listened to our shows,” she said. “But if terrorists are tuning in, wow, at least that means we have an audience!”