Sometimes I am just ashamed to be Canadian. It’s when terrorists who plot to bomb certain interests in Canada and receive a sentence of 2.5 years in jail. It’s only when a huge tragedy involving many innocent lives will be a huge wake-up call, and even that, nothing will change. Sept 11 should of been a wake-up call. Apparently, not in Canada.
What’s even more disturbing is that this guy got bail but was re-arrested again because he disobeyed is bail conditions, he said it didn’t conform to Islam law. But isn’t that a sign that they guy shouldn’t be in this country?? YES IT IS!
Are you kidding me? ISLAM LAW!!! You want to conform to legal ISLAM LAW go to ISLAM!!! And don’t plot terrorist attacks you TERRORIST!
It’s no wonder the USA keep blaming us, our justice system was written by a bunch of clowns, it’s all clear now. Our freedom in this country will end very soon, because there is no law to keep terrorists locked up.
Let’s compare this case to the recent one NYC recently where a few were arrested for doing something similar, I’ll bet they won’t be sentenced to just 2.5 years. More like LIFE!!
But I’m sure he will plan big and unpredictable things.
Canada is a safe haven for terrorists!
It wouldn’t surprise me if Osama Bin Laden is camping in the NorthWest Terror tories.
A man sentenced to 2-1/2 years in a homegrown terror trial, will be released from custody today.
The 21-year-old Scarborough man will walk out of court later today a free man because of credit given for time served in pre-trial custody.
Superior Court Justice John Sproat said that in making his decision, he considered “the genuine remorse expressed by (the accused) and his stated commitment to leading a peaceful life.”
As part of his sentence the accused must submit a DNA sample and will be on probation for three years. He is also prohibited from handling firearms for 10 years.
In a letter to the court, the accused indicated his intention to finish high school, and positively contribute to society.
“If I’m given a chance, I promise to work hard,” wrote the accused in the letter, part of which was read aloud in court.
“I want to get married, have a family, have a good job like an engineer… I’m not a violent person and I do not believe in participating in acts of violence against anyone.”
The young man, who was not a key member of the so-called Toronto 18, said he would like to counsel young people to stay away from bad influences.
Prosecutors had been seeking a three-year sentence, but Sproat noted there were “extenuating circumstances” with regard to the accused.
The judge referenced evidence by the Crown’s star witness Mubin Shaikh, who described the accused as a naïve and impressionable convert to Islam who was estranged from his Hindu family. Shaikh, a police agent who infiltrated the group, pointed out that the accused was eager to fit in with some of the group’s members, whom he turned to for religious guidance.
In his ruling, Sproat also referred to a pre-sentence report by a psychologist, who described the accused as someone who feels the need to conform in order to gain approval and acceptance, which can result in “problematic behaviour.” The doctor characterized him as an “immature individual” with “feelings of inadequacy and a tendency to look to others for approval.”
Court heard that the accused, who was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada at age 7, faced difficulties adjusting and learning English. Around the age of 10 he suffered from and was treated for cancer.
The judge also noted that the accused was very supportive of his mother when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and referred to difficulties he had with his parents during his religious conversion.
Reacting to the sentence, University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers said “the fact that the Crown only sought three years speaks volumes.”
“Terrorism is a serious problem, but a sense of perspective is always necessary,” said Byers, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law.
“The judge struck an appropriate balance in this case. This young man was guilty of running with the wrong crowd, but nothing more.”
The young man, whose offences occurred when he was 18, was tried as a youth, but sentenced as an adult.
Typically, when an adult sentence is imposed, the identity of the accused is revealed. But defence counsel, who plan to appeal the conviction, sought a month-long extension on the publication ban of their client’s name so that the matter can be heard in an Ontario Court of Appeal.
In an unusual ruling, Sproat agreed to extend the publication ban until June 23.
Lawyer Brian Greenspan is expected to represent the accused in the appeal process.
The accused has already spent two years behind bars and will be given a 1.25 to 1 ratio for time served.
After being arrested, he spent a year in a youth facility before being released on bail. He returned to jail in May 2008 after telling the judge he renounced the Canadian legal system in favour of Sharia law.
Since then, he has been at Maplehurst Detention Centre, with some of his co-accused adults, in what is dubbed the “terrorist wing.”
In a landmark decision last September, Sproat ruled there was overwhelming evidence that the accused belonged to a homegrown terrorist group, attended two terrorist training camps and stole items to enhance training.
He was the first person to be found guilty under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act, which was passed in Parliament following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
He was among 14 adults and four youths arrested in the summer of 2006 after ringleaders of the Al Qaeda inspired group are alleged to have devised a plot to storm Parliament Hill and blow up downtown sites such as the CN Tower, the Toronto Stock Exchange and offices of Canada’s spy agency.
Members of the group are accused of ordering fertilizer to build truck bombs, constructing a remote-control detonator and scouting a safe house to store weapons and harbour terrorists. The young man was not a key member of the group and did not play a role in the bomb conspiracy.
While delivering his verdict, the judge noted that the accused lacked street smarts, which made him easy to deceive, and had only a rudimentary understanding of world politics and international conflicts. But, he said it was “inconceivable” for him not to have known the true nature of the camp by the end.
During the trial, two different portraits emerged of the young man, who displayed little emotion today.
Prosecutors John Neander and Marco Mendicino portrayed him as a teenaged jihadi who attended two training camps: one in December 2005, complete with military-style exercises, firearms training and speeches exhorting followers to wage war on “Rome” and another in May 2006, where attendees made a mock jihadi video. Prosecutors also said he stole items for the camps, including outdoor gear and walkie-talkies.
The other image was of a troubled youngster, who was alienated from his family because of his conversion and went “winter camping” because he yearned for religious guidance and was told it was a religious retreat.
Defence lawyers Mitchell Chernovsky and Faisal Mirza said their client had been led astray by an alleged ringleader who was a deluded megalomaniac with a fanciful plot to attack Canadians.
Since the massive police raids that garnered international headlines nearly three years ago, the number of accused has whittled down.
Three youths and four adults had their charges stayed. Earlier this month, Saad Khalid of Mississauga pleaded guilty to intending to cause an explosion. A sentencing hearing for Khalid is scheduled for June 22.