Terror plot in Quebec undone by online activities

Saïd Namouh thought his apartment in Trois-Rivières, Québec was an ideal location to plot jihad, far from the prying eyes of anti-terrorism investigators. But the Internet that allowed him to spread hatred from the boondocks also proved his undoing. The 36-year-old Moroccan was convicted of four terrorism charges.

Quebec Court Judge Claude Leblond ruled that far from simply exercising free speech, as the defense had argued, Namouh participated with “zeal and enthusiasm” in the planning of terrorist acts and the distribution of jihadist propaganda. The man described in court as a “spokesman for al-Qaeda” was found guilty of conspiring to commit a bomb attack in Europe, attempting to extort the governments of Austria and Germany with video threats, participating in a terrorist group and aiding a terrorist activity. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Namouh, who moved to Canada in 2003 after marrying a Quebec woman, was on the verge of leaving Canada when he was arrested. Online conversations showed he was headed for Egypt to meet with co-conspirators in a plot to carry out a terrorist bombing at an unknown location in Europe.