IDEOLOGICAL? LETS CALL THAT IDEOLOGY WHAT IT IS…ISLAM..ISLAM IS WHAT FUELED THIS, ISLAM WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEXT PLOT AND POSSIBLY SUCCESSFUL ATTACK BY THE MUSLIMS THAT ARE OBEDIENT TO THIS ‘IDEOLOGY’…
Sentence Toronto 18′s ‘ideological leader’ to 18 years, Crown says
Alex Tavshunsky/Postmedia News
Court sketch of Fahim Ahmad.
Megan O’Toole September 27, 2010 – 6:01 pm
BRAMPTON — As the “ideological leader” of the Toronto 18 terrorist plot, Fahim Ahmad should be jailed for 18 years, the Crown asserted yesterday at the young man’s sentencing hearing in Superior Court.
“He was trying to develop a band of jihadist warriors,” Crown attorney Jason Wakely said — young men he would recruit, indoctrinate, train and equip with weapons. The group aimed to storm Parliament and detonate bombs in downtown Toronto in what would have been “a profoundly traumatic experience for Canada,” the court heard.
Authorities dismantled the homegrown terrorist cell in 2006; this past May, Ahmad pleaded guilty to participating in the group, importing firearms and instructing others to carry out activities for the benefit of a terrorist group.
Evidence has shown Ahmad orchestrated two terrorist training camps, created and distributed propaganda videos, and helped the group to acquire weapons.
Ahmad spent seven months “strenuously and unremittingly” urging violent action in Canada, Mr. Wakely told Justice Fletcher Dawson. Were it not for a number of mitigating factors — including Ahmad’s youth, his renunciation of his extremist views and his guilty plea — a life sentence would have been appropriate, Mr. Wakely indicated.
“Mr. Ahmad’s group intended to kill people … innocent people who decided to do nothing more than work for the government or an institution [the Toronto 18] disliked,” he said, noting Ahmad “poisoned the minds” of recruits and countless other members of the community.
The court also heard testimony from Ahmad’s wife, Mariya Mohammad, who wrote a letter in support of her husband.
“I believe that he never would have followed up on the claims that he made,” the soft-spoken Ms. Mohammad said, as her husband, in a green sweater and with close-cropped hair, looked on. But she also acknowledged that around the time of the Toronto 18 plot’s genesis, she and her husband “were not communicating effectively.”
The defence will make sentencing submissions today.
In calling for the 18-year jail term, Mr. Wakely invoked the “unparalleled seriousness” of Ahmad’s actions.
“[It’s] a crime against society that cultivates fear and insecurity… It changes the way we live our lives,” he told the court.
Also yesterday, a relatively minor player in the Toronto 18 plot was all but guaranteed he will serve no further jail time.
Asad Ansari, 25, was convicted in June of participating in the terrorist group, accused by the Crown of being their “technical expert” — one who assisted Ahmad by clearing terrorist material and malicious software from his computer.
Both the Crown and the defence are calling for Ansari to be sentenced to time served with three years of probation, and Judge Dawson has indicated he will accept their submissions. His formal decision will come down Oct. 4.
With two-for-one credit taken into account, Ansari has effectively served six years and five months of prison time. He has been on strict house-arrest bail since August 2009, and Judge Dawson said it would be “a real hardship” to send him back to prison at this juncture.
Defence lawyer John Norris said his client has been taking educational courses and is “moving his life once again in a very positive direction.”
Characterized in court as a peripheral member of the Toronto 18, Ansari attended a terrorist training camp in the winter of 2005, but says he did not know its true purpose at the time.
The Crown disputes that contention, pointing to various militaristic activities at the camp and the presence of a black-and-white jihadi-style flag.
“When he saw the black flag… He certainly would have known by that time that he was attending a terrorist camp,” Crown attorney Sarah Shaikh said.
Ansari and Ahmad are among the final members of the Toronto 18 to be sentenced, with hearings for two other participants scheduled in November.