From The Globe And Mail
RCMP have arrested a third Ottawa man as part of a terrorism-related investigation that included charges last week against two brothers who sources say were interested in heading to Syria.
Suliman Mohamed, 21, was charged on Monday with participation in the activity of a terrorist group and conspiracy to participate in a terrorist activity. In a statement, the RCMP said his arrest was linked to Ashton and Carlos Larmond, 24-year-old twins from Ottawa who were charged with terrorism-related offences on Friday.
The RCMP has not revealed detailed information on the allegations that led to the charges. The Canadian Press reported Monday that Carlos Larmond, arrested at a Montreal airport last Friday, carried a plane ticket to India.
One source familiar with the investigation, however, said the brothers ultimately wanted to head to the Mideast.
“Syria appears to be what they were interested in,” a source said. “At least the two brothers wanted to go.”
Syria is a major destination for jihadis right now.
“These recent arrests underscore the reality that there are individuals in Ontario and in Canada who have become radicalized to a violent ideology, and who are willing to act upon it,” Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan, criminal operations officer for the RCMP in Ontario, said in a statement.
The RCMP investigation that led to these three arrests is continuing, a source said, which leaves open the possibility of more arrests.
The RCMP did not file any documents at the Ottawa courthouse in the Mohamed case on Monday.
The court documents related to the case against the Larmond brothers state that the alleged activities started in August, 2014, and ended on Friday, when Carlos was arrested at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.
In addition to one count of attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity abroad, Carlos is charged with “knowingly participating in the activity of a terrorist group.” Ashton, who was arrested in Ottawa, has been charged with facilitating a terrorist group and instructing a person to carry out terrorist activity.
The lawyer representing the Larmond brothers, Joseph Addelman, said while leaving the courthouse Saturday that they planned to “vigorously” defend themselves in court.
Mr. Addelman told reporters that fundamental issues were at stake, suggesting that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be at the heart of the case.
“This is going to be a case where we are going to determine how much value the Canadian system truly places on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. These matters will be determined in court,” he said, pointing out that his clients are facing life in prison.
The RCMP said it would not disclose more information on the cases that are now before the courts.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week that the federal government will table new legislation shortly after the Commons winter break to give security agencies more powers to thwart terrorist attacks. This is in response to the October killings of Canadian soldiers at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., which Mr. Harper calls terror attacks.
The Conservatives have been weighing new tools to deal with citizens who openly support terrorist attacks on Canadians or back groups that promote this goal, as well as additional powers or measures for police and agencies that monitor terrorist groups. The government has also signalled it is looking at lowering the threshold for preventive arrests aimed at stopping terror acts before they take place.
Critics have already raised concerns that Ottawa could trample civil rights by overreacting to attacks in Canada and abroad.
Ottawa, however, is concerned about the risks of homegrown terrorism.
“We continue to confront and address the significant challenges posed by the global terror threat,” a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Monday.
Increasingly, jihadis in war zones are broadcasting their message to malleable Muslims in the West.
The two Canadian Armed Forces soldiers were the victims of lone-wolf extremists – the first such deadly incidents on the country’s soil. And overseas, Canadian terrorists have been part of attacks that have killed about 100 people in Somalia, Iraq and Algeria over the past two years.
Mr. Addelman, This isn’t about Fundamental Rights! These terrorists had the right to Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion and the Freedom to Assemble! What they don’t have the right to do is to go to another country to kill innocent people due to their ideology! Nobody is saying they can’t be muslim and follow the false-prophet of Islam. They can’t however wish to do criminal activities and then come back into Canada to hide! We aren’t a “SAFE HAVEN” anymore for such idiots!
All the critics that are so worried about having civil rights trampled would be screaming for the Government to do something if it was one of their family members that was held hostage, raped or murdered by an islamist terrorist! If you aren’t doing anything criminal…why are you so worried and criticizing the Harper Government for making sure that no more terrorist attacks happen in Canada and that these terrorist minded people are put away for life? How many more innocent victims need to be killed for you to finally get the message that no one is safe anywhere in the world as long as these people are allowed to go free?
I have an idea…. let’s send all those critics to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and see how long you last with your “Hug-A-Thug” mentality! PFFT…. Eejits!