A rural Quebec man was sentenced to life in prison for his role in an overseas terrorist bomb plot by an Al Qaeda affiliated group. It is just the second time in Canadian legal history that a life sentence has been handed down in a terrorism case, after the one last month to one of the so-called ‘Toronto 18′, Crown prosecutors said.
Said Namouh was found guilty in October 2009 of four terrorism-related charges relating to a loosely planned plot to bomb targets in Germany and Austria. The terror attack was motivated by those countries’ military presence in Afghanistan.
Namouh was involved with the Global Islamic Media Front, an organization recognized by the court as a terrorist group that took part in propaganda and jihad recruitment. Namouh, 37, will have no chance of parole for at least 10 years. Namouh is a permanent resident. Canada has already begun procedures to have him deported to his native Morocco.
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.