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 Toronto Star – October 25, 2010
Fahim Ahmad, the convicted leader of the so-called Toronto 18, was sentenced October 25th to 16 years in prison for his role in a plot to launch a campaign of terrorist attacks in Canada. In imposing the sentence, Justice Fletcher Dawson granted him a time served credit of eight years and nine months. The 26-year-old Toronto man, a married father of two young children, won’t be eligible to seek parole for 3 1/2 years. Under his direction, plans were made to attack nuclear stations and storm Parliament, taking politicians hostage until Canada gave into his demands to pull troops from Afghanistan. He and seventeen other young men were arrested on June 2, 2006.