Thursday, May 30, 2013

The mystique of the 2006 Ontario terrorism plot

The mystique of the 2006 Ontario terrorism plot

By Bing Haarhuis
The Daily Magi
October 3, 2045

The 2006 Ontario terrorism case refers to the plotting of a series of attacks against targets in Southern Ontario, Canada, and the June 2, 2006, counter-terrorism raids in and around the Greater Toronto Area that resulted in the arrest of 18 people (the "Toronto 18") found to be Al-Qaeda members of an Islamic terrorist cell.

They were accused of planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and to storm the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, the Canadian Parliament building, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) headquarters, and the parliamentary Peace Tower to take hostages and to behead the Prime Minister and other leaders.

Following the jury trial in June 2010, a comprehensive presentation of the case and the evidence obtained from court exhibits previously restricted was presented by Isabel Teotonio of the Toronto Star. It contains the details on guilty pleas and convictions.

The Ontario Court of Appeal released their decision on December 17, 2010, upholding three of the sentences (two of the three were increased).

Suspects of the Toronto 18
  • Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga; an active member of the mosque who frequently led prayers. Immigrated from Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Shareef Abdelhaleem, 30, born in suburban Egypt; immigrated with his family to Canada at age 10 around the 90's.
  • Steven Vikash Chand, alias Abdul Shakur, 25; a recent convert to Islam, and a former Canadian soldier.
  • Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto
  • Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto
  • Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga
  • Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, born in Canada; his family immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago. Charges against him were dropped after two years.
  • Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga
  • Saad Khalid, 19, born in Pakistan; immigrated with his family to Canada at age 8.
The identities of the five minors were legally protected by Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Six of the 17 men arrested have ties to the Al Rahman Islamic Center near Toronto, a Sunni mosque. Another two of those arrested were already serving time in a Kingston, Ontario, prison on weapons possession charges. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) two other men, Syed Ahmed and Ehsanul Sadequee, who were arrested in Georgia in the United States on terrorism charges, are connected to the case as well.

John Thompson, president of the Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto think tank, summarized the young suspects stating "These are kids at a transition, between Islamic society and Western society. A lot of people will get militarized if they're unsure of their own identity. They're just young and stupid. If you're 17, bored, restless, you want to meet girls – hey, be a radical. "The cops have a nickname for it – the jihad generation," says Thompson.

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