Results tagged “Canada.”
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British Columbia resident Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, became the first Canadian charged with traveling abroad for the purpose of terrorist training; he allegedly traveled to Syria in January to join an Islamist group and has not returned. At least 130 Canadians are said to be engaged in extremist activity abroad. Last week Misbahuddin Ahmed, 34, a former hospital worker from Ottawa, was convicted of convicted of conspiring with two other men to facilitate terrorist activity and participating in a terrorist group; they were accused of planning to use explosives for violent jihad against targets in Canada.
Mohamed Hersi, 28, a Toronto university graduate who was born in Somalia, became the first Canadian convicted under a new law that penalizes "leaving or attempting to leave Canada" to commit terrorism. Hersi was arrested at the airport in Toronto in 2011 as he was trying to board a one-way flight to Cairo, on his way to join Shabaab in Somalia.
The government added the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN), based in Mississauga, Ont., to its list of terrorist organizations for sending millions of dollars to Hamas-linked groups. Canada recently warned its citizens against travel to Nigeria due to the risk of terrorism, violence, and kidnapping. Members of Canada's elite special operations force, CSOR, are providing counterterrorism training to the Nigerien military.
A police officer testified in a Toronto court that Mohamed Hersi, a Somali-Canadian arrested in 2011 while trying to fly to Somalia to join Shabaab, saw himself as a "silent assassin" and leadership type in the al Qaeda-linked group. Hersi said one of his relatives had been arrested for trying to bomb an Ohio shopping mall, and also claimed to have been friends with Mohamed Ibrahim Elmi, a former University of Toronto student who died fighting for Shabaab in late 2009 or early 2010.
As the last 100 Canadian soldiers prepared to return home from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Harper hailed the military's efforts there, where over 40,000 Canadian troops served and 162 were killed. The government spent $1.65 billion on development projects in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013, and plans to continue to help build the Afghan economy.
The Foreign Ministry is looking into reports that Canadian jihadist Damian Clairmont, a convert to Islam, has died fighting for the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. A Canadian think tank has estimated that as many as 100 Canadians have traveled to Syria for jihad. Another Canadian jihadist, Ali Dirie, is said to have been killed in Syria last fall.
The government added both the Caucasus Emirate and Boko Haram to its list of terrorist organizations. Other groups added to Canada's list this year include the Al Nusrah Front and Mokhtar Belmokhtar's al-Muwaqi'un Bil Dima, as well as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
Canada added the Al Nusrah Front, which has claimed nearly 600 terrorist attacks in Syria, to its list of terrorist organizations. Dozens of Canadian jihadists are thought to have traveled to Syria to fight. Former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr again requested a transfer to a provincial jail from the maximum-security prison where he is currently serving an eight-year sentence for war crimes in Afghanistan.
Ali Mohamed Dirie, 30, a convicted terrorist, has been killed while fighting in Syria. He is said to have left Canada for Syria in 2011 after serving prison time for plotting with an Islamist cell to kill the prime minister, take hostages, and bomb targets in the Toronto area. He had reportedly joined an extremist group in Syria. Security officials estimate that about 100 Canadians, mainly from Ontario and Alberta, have gone to Syria to fight in the past year. Evidence in the case of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who face trial for a terrorist plot to blow up a VIA train, will include a video of two men near the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont.