Home-grown terrorists create insurance conundrum

by Will Ashworth02 Oct 2015
A Calgary mother, whose son died in January 2014 while fighting in Syria for al-Qaeda, is trying to collect on his life insurance but is having a hard time getting the death certificate and has asked CSIS for help.
It begs the question whether family members should be entitled to collect on life insurance policies should the radicalized relative die while carrying out a terrorist act.
Damian Clairmont joined al-Qaida’s Syrian branch in 2013. How he got there is typical of Canadians being radicalized.
A troubled upbringing that saw his father leave home at age 10, Clairmont attempted suicide at age 17. The young man found solace in Islam but soon became more irritable with people around him as well as hiding his friendships; his radicalization had begun.
His mom, Christianne Boudreau, didn’t know what to make of his strange behavior.
In 2012, he moved into a Calgary home with four men who all left for terror groups in Iraq and Syria. Later that year Clairmont left for Egypt to study Arabic but ended up in Syria instead.
In January 2014, Clairmont was killed in Syria defending his base inside Aleppo city.
A recent study suggests that in 64% of lone-actor terrorist attacks the families of the terrorist knew their relative was radicalized and intended “to engage in terrorism-related activities because the offender verbally told them.”
“These findings suggest therefore that friends and family can play important roles in efforts that seek to prevent terrorist plots,” according to the study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“The signs were there, but I didn’t know how to read them,” Boudreau said.
Advisors have your say: Should their family members at home be allowed to collect on their life insurance policies?


  • by 2015-10-02 12:42:14 PM

    I know someone part of our armed services and no I don't want anything to happen to him. Any one who lays possible to hurt society in these ways is not entitled. Terrorist should not be able to benefit from their crimes nor their families.

  • by Trevor 2015-10-02 1:02:52 PM

    If an individual dies in the act of willfully commiting a violent crime, that should render any life insurance contract void. Acting on behalf of a terrorist group falls within this definition.

  • by 2015-10-02 1:06:14 PM

    Only if the applicant declared this hazardous activity on the app.