US embassy cable - 07TORONTO139

UPDATE ON TORONTO TERRORISM SUSPECTS

Identifier: 07TORONTO139
Wikileaks: View 07TORONTO139 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Toronto
Created: 2007-04-02 20:48:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV PHUM PINR PTER CVIS CA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO2210
RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0139/01 0922048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 022048Z APR 07
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1927
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TORONTO 000139 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O.12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PINR, PTER, CVIS, CA 
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON TORONTO TERRORISM SUSPECTS 
 
Ref: (A) 06 Ottawa 1711  (B) 06 Toronto 1636 
(C) 06 Toronto 2138  (D) Toronto 132 
 
Sensitive But Unclassified - protect accordingly. 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Since June 2, 2006, the Royal Canadian Mounted 
Police has arrested 18 men with suspected connections to a 
Toronto-based terrorist group.  The terrorist group is most 
notorious for its plot to behead the Canadian Prime Minister, 
Stephen Harper.  Currently, 14 adults and 3 youths connected with 
the group are charged with various counts under Canada's 
Anti-Terrorism Act and are waiting for their trials.  Two adult 
suspects and three youths have been released on bail.  It is 
possible that more suspects will be released as the trials progress. 
 A media ban is in effect for the trials.  END SUMMARY. 
 
June Arrests of Toronto Terrorist Group 
--------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) Since June 2, 2006, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
(RCMP) anti-terrorism task force has arrested 18 members of a 
Toronto-based terrorist group after a two-year investigation.  The 
RCMP organized the arrests after they intercepted an order for three 
tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.  The fertilizer was to be used 
in truck bombs targeting the Toronto offices of the Canadian 
Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Canadian Broadcasting 
Corporation, the Toronto Stock Exchange and a Canadian Forces base, 
as well as the CSIS and RCMP headquarters in Ottawa.  The group's 
alleged plans also included storming Parliament Hill in Ottawa, 
taking Members of Parliament hostage, and beheading them if Canadian 
Forces did not leave Afghanistan. 
 
The Suspects and Charges 
------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) All suspects of the terrorist group, 14 adults and 3 
youths, are charged with various counts under Canada's 
Anti-Terrorism Act and are currently awaiting trial.  All suspects 
are charged with knowingly participating in a terrorist group for 
the purpose of carrying out terrorist activity.  Seven of the 
suspects, Zakaria Amara, Saad Gaya, Fahim Ahmad, Asad Ansari, 
Shareef Abdelhaleen, Qayyum Abdul Jamal and Saad Khalid, face an 
additional charge of attempting to acquire three tons of ammonium 
nitrate and intending to set off an explosion to cause serious 
bodily harm or death, or substantial property damage. 
 
4. (SBU) Ibrahim Alkhalel Aboud, Jahmaal James, Amin Mohamed 
Durrani, Steven Chand, Ahmad Ghany, as well as Amara, Ansari, Jamal 
and Khalid, are charged with receiving training for the purpose of 
enhancing the ability of a terrorist group to carry out terrorist 
activity.  Amara is also charged with one count of recruiting for a 
terrorist group. 
 
5. (SBU) Two suspects connected with the group, Mohammed Dirie and 
Yasmin Mohamed, were already serving two years in prison on weapons 
smuggling charges at the time of the arrests.  Dirie and Mohamed 
were apprehended by Canadian authorities at Fort Erie, Ontario's 
Peace Bridge border crossing coming from the U.S. with two guns and 
ammunition concealed on their persons.  Authorities are now charging 
them with acquiring the weapons for terrorist activities. 
 
Current Locations and Status of Suspects 
---------------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Since their June arrests, 10 of the suspects have been held 
in solitary confinement at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in 
Milton, Ontario.  They are permitted, with some restrictions, to 
have visits from family members and make phone calls to relatives. 
Dirie is incarcerated at the Collins Bay correctional institute in 
Kingston.  Mohamed is serving at the Joyceville correctional 
institute. 
 
7. (SBU) Ghany was released on C$140,000 bail July 21, 2006.  His 
bail conditions forbid him to communicate with the other accused 
men.  He must live with his parents and may not leave the house 
unless accompanied by one of his four sureties.  He is permitted to 
go to school, work, the hospital or his lawyer's office unattended. 
He must report to police every Monday.  He is not allowed to leave 
Ontario, is not allowed to possess any weapons and must hand over 
all travel documents.  Aboud was released on C$145,000 bail in 
August 2006.  His bail conditions are similar to those of Ghany.  He 
is currently enrolled as a student at Ryerson University in Toronto. 
 
 
8. (SBU) Preliminary hearings for four youths of the group were held 
in Brampton in February.  Three 17 and 18-year old men were 
committed to stand trial on the count of "participating in a 
terrorist group for the purpose of carrying out terrorist acts." 
Authorities dropped the charge of receiving training to be part of a 
terrorist group.  The charges against the youngest of the accused 
 
TORONTO 00000139  002 OF 002 
 
 
were stayed, meaning the charges were withdrawn but can be 
reactivated within a year.  One of the teens remains in custody, and 
two are out on bail.  None of those accused of committing crimes as 
juveniles can be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 
 
9. (SBU) The preliminary inquiry for the 14 adults began in March. 
They may be tried together or in smaller groups.  A publication ban 
on all information and evidence presented in court remains in place. 
 Coupled with the identity protection provided by the Youth Criminal 
Justice Act, information concerning these cases will be extremely 
difficult to obtain. 
 
The Operations of the Group 
--------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU) The case against the 17 suspects started in Internet chat 
rooms, in a Scarborough school, and a Mississauga Islamic Centre. 
According to the Crown synopsis given to defense lawyers after the 
arrests, the group also attended a training camp in a vacant wooded 
area 150 km north of Toronto, where group members donned camouflage 
clothing and played paint-ball games. 
 
11. (SBU) Toronto media speculated that the eldest of the group, 
Qayyum Abdul Jamal, had the most strident views and may have been 
the group leader.  He was active at the al-Rahman Islamic Centre, a 
small storefront Sunni mosque attended by six other suspects.  The 
group allegedly split into two camps as two adult leaders disagreed 
on tactics.  By March 2005, one group included suspects from Toronto 
and the other consisted of those who lived west of the city. 
 
Diverse Backgrounds in the Group 
-------------------------------- 
 
12. (SBU) Most of the suspects come from middle-class families. 
Their ethnic backgrounds vary, with Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri 
Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago among the countries of origin. 
Several of the men were born in Canada, and many of them immigrated 
as young children.  Egyptian-born Abdelhaleen, a 30 year-old 
computer programmer, immigrated to Canada at 10 years of age. 
Pakistani-born Khalid immigrated at 8 years of age, and was a 
student at the University of Toronto.  Canadian-born Ghany was a 
health sciences graduate from McMacster University.  Most of the 
suspects lived with family in the suburbs of Toronto. 
 
13. (SBU) COMMENT:  The RCMP dragnet scooped up suspects who had 
varying degrees of involvement in the alleged plot.  Charges against 
one youth were withdrawn.  Although most suspects have been denied 
bail, more suspects may be released as the trials progress.  We have 
submitted to the Visa Viper program the bio data of 14 adults who 
were charged (refs (B), (C), and (D)).  Their trials are likely to 
drag on for years, with defense lawyers challenging the 
constitutionality of the charges.  END COMMENT. 
 
TUNIS 

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