Toronto Star – Nov 25, 2011
Inas Kadri was shopping at a Mississauga mall with her two small children when a woman she had never seen before came “out of nowhere” and assaulted her, pulling off her niqab. Kadri is a schoolteacher with a computer engineering degree from University of Ottawa. Her attacker, Rosemarie Creswell, was sentenced by a Brampton judge for the assault, which occurred in August 2010 at the Sheridan Centre. Creswell, 66, pleaded guilty after seeing video evidence captured by a mall surveillance camera.
Justice Ian Cowan gave Creswell, 66, a one-year suspended sentence. He also ruled she must serve 100 hours of community service, and suggested she educate herself about Muslims by attending a mosque.
Dozens of women, some who knew Kadri and some who did not, wearing both the hijab and niqab, appeared in court to support her. “We want our kids to be brought up in an understanding community, so they will be good citizens,” said Sana Mutawi, who also wears the niqab. Kadri’s husband also accompanied her to court but declined requests for comment, saying he preferred to let his wife speak for herself.
News Agencies – March 4, 2011
Shareef Abdelhaleem has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years for his role in a Canadian homegrown terror plot. Justice Fletcher Dawson delivered the final sentence in the so-called “Toronto 18” case in Brampton, Ontario. Because Abdelhaleem was arrested in 2006, he will technically be eligible for parole in just over five years.
Abdelhaleem became involved with the group because he hoped to make money from a terrorist attack and was among 18 people charged in the summer of 2006. He was the right-hand man of Zakaria Amara, an Islamist extremist who masterminded the plot and is now serving a life sentence.
Charges were eventually dropped against seven of the accused. The remaining members of the group either pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial and have all been sentenced. Abdelhallem was convicted in January 2010, then argued unsuccessfully he had been entrapped. Before sentencing, Abdelhaleem told Dawson he felt he was being discriminated against treated more harshly as a “brown Muslim” terrorist than if he was a white “extremist.” “I am not denying that what I did was wrong,” Abdelhaleem said, reading from a sheaf of papers. “I am unconditionally sorry.”
November, 26 2010
A member of the so-called Toronto 18, who tried to raise funds for an al-Qaeda-inspired homegrown cell, rapped about the “predicaments of my present times” before being sentenced in a Brampton court 26 November 2010 to 10 years. Steven Chand, 29, who was a trainer at a camp to weed out potential recruits and who helped scout a safehouse, appeared relaxed in the prisoner’s box as Justice Fletcher Dawson delivered his ruling. The Scarborough man, who has been behind bars since his arrest in June 2006, was given slightly more than two-for-one credit of time served, which means he will serve an additional seven months and 10 days.
He faced a maximum term of life imprisonment for the fraud charge and up to 10 years for participating in the terror cell – with sentences to run consecutively – but the Crown and defence had agreed, early in the process, that an eight-year sentence would be sufficient. “Mr. Chand was ideologically committed to the cause… He was serious,” said Dawson, who also recommended Chand seek de-radicalization counseling. Before the ruling Chand read from a prepared statement asking the judge to sentence him to time served. He ended with a poem, or rhyming lyrics, which he delivered as a rap.
The Globe and Mail – October 6, 2010
Child-pornography charges have been dropped against a Canadian Muslim preacher, with a judge ruling that “threats and intimidation” by the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) agents railroaded the man into handing over evidence. In 2007, Brampton’s Ayad Mejid had had enough of a long-standing CSIS investigation. Targeted as a suspected supporter of terrorism, he lent his laptop to authorities to try to prove his innocence. CSIS agents who searched the laptop without a warrant passed it to Toronto Police detectives, who in turn arrested Mr. Mejid. Police alleged that they found child-pornography images inside.
On October 6th,, on the eve of a long-delayed trial, a court ruled that any Crown evidence against Mr. Mejid was moot. Faulting CSIS for being beyond aggressive, Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly tossed the case. CSIS agents began zeroing in on Mr. Mejid in 2003, amid suspicions he had a hand in starting an Internet outfit known as the Global Islamic Media Forum. GIMF attracts Islamists whose posts can glorify terrorism – not a crime in Canada.
The final chapter in the story of the Toronto 18 terror cell closed last week with convictions, but experts warn there is no end to the threat of homegrown religious extremism among Muslim youth. Community members and security experts agree that youth are being radicalized in their own homes by tapping into an online jihadi cyberworld and also behind closed doors of private prayer rooms where firebrand religious ideologues go unchallenged. And increasingly, they are travelling overseas to countries such as Somalia and Pakistan to take up arms and fight jihad.
The arrests four years ago of what became known as the Toronto 18 woke up a country that had appeared immune to the kind of attacks that had terrorized cities such as New York and London. Evidence emerged of plots to storm Parliament Hill, behead the prime minister and blow up truck bombs in downtown Toronto.
The final two accused, Asad Ansari, 25, of Mississauga, and Steven Chand, 29, of Scarborough, were found guilty by a Brampton jury of participating in a terrorist group. It was the first time a Canadian jury has ruled on a terrorism case since the introduction of anti-terrorism legislation in 2001, passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
On Dec. 10, 2007, Asqa Parvez’s father called 911 saying he had killed her. When police arrived, they found Ms. Parvez’s mother crying hysterically and her father with blood on his hands.
In a Brampton courtroom last week, Ms. Parvez’s father, Muhammad Parvez, 60, and her brother, Waqas Parvez, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. They will be sentenced to 25 years in prison. When asked by his wife why he had killed their daughter, Ms. Parvez said her husband told her: “My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked.”
Observers say the case, among the first so-called honor killings to gain widespread attention in Canada, will cast a spotlight on generational strains that can tear at families adapting to a new culture. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said it’s a particularly pernicious form of murder to kill a member of one’s own family for cultural reasons.
Muslim Canadian Congress founder Tarek Fatah said the guilty plea is a wake-up call for parents to understand that young women are not the possessions of men. Muslim leaders who do not call Ms. Parvez’s murder an honour killing are avoiding the real issue, Mr. Fatah said.
Another member of the so-called “Toronto 18” conspiracy has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges – and is about to be let go. Jahmaal James, 26, entered a surprise guilty plea in a Brampton court. Because he spent three years and nine months awaiting trial – and got a two-for-on-credit for the “dead time” – he has effectively served all the seven-year, seven-month sentence he was meted. He was sentenced to one more day.
James was arrested in 2006, as police rounded up 18 young Muslims in the Toronto area. Most of those arrested have now been found guilty of involvement in terrorism, for either attending a amateurish Toronto training camp, or for plotting to blow up military and government targets around Toronto. The scheme aimed to force a withdrawal of Canadian Forces soldiers from Afghanistan.
James faced unique charges. It was alleged that, in 2005 and at the behest of other members of the Toronto conspiracy, he travelled to Pakistan in hopes of taking terrorist training with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group (the same group suspected of perpetrating the Mumbai Massacre in 2008). But in the end, James did not actually get to take any training in Pakistan, as he was unable to link up with any terrorist trainers. James plead guilty to participating in a terrorist group for his involvement with the other Toronto suspects.
A police agent who was paid $4.1 million to infiltrate the so-called Toronto 18 terror cell told a Brampton, Ontario court that money played no role in his motivation. “The only motive I had was based on my moral and civic responsibilities as a Canadian citizen, testified Shaher Elsohemy at the trial of a Mississauga man charged in 2006 with planning to blow up buildings in downtown Toronto.
Elsohemy pointed out that at the time he had no dire need for money because two of his entrepreneurial ventures, a travel business booking tours to Egypt and renting furnished apartments were successful.
While testifying at the trial of 34-year-old Shareef Abdelhaleem, the former friend turned informant said he was approached by agents with Canada’s spy agency in December 2005 and thought it had to do with his problems flying into the US.
Four men have pleaded guilty, a youth was convicted and seven had their charges stayed. The remaining accused are scheduled to begin their trial in the spring. They are not charged with participating in the bomb plot.
The trial is expected to last until the end of the month.
A 26-year-old Somali immigrant admitted in a Canadian court admitted he was a member of the terrorist group known as the Toronto 18 and had obtained handguns in the United States for the alleged ringleader. Ali Mohamed Dirie also acknowledged that, even while behind bars serving a prison sentence for smuggling two guns into Canada, he had tried to buy more guns and recruit other inmates into the group.
For almost two hours, the Crown prosecutor Clyde Bond read a 28-page statement of facts in a Brampton courtroom. When he was finished, Dirie, dressed in a gray hoody, baggy jeans and a blue skullcap, was asked if he agreed it was accurate. He agreed and pleaded guilty on Monday to participating in the activities of a terrorist group. He is to be sentenced on Oct. 2. A second charge of committing an offense for a terrorist group was stayed yesterday. Dirie faces a maximum 10-year sentence.