*** Hey simple question for the naysayers and complainers: are you willing to go undercover as an agent for your country's police service in a massive investigation like this, with a real plot by (some) people with real know-how, risk it all, give it all up, cut off friends and family FOR FREE?
I didn't think so.
Canada spent over $100 million in the Air India inquiry and no one was prosecuted properly for it yet hundreds of Canadians died. 4 mil is a drop in the bucket. MS ***
The moral imperative, and not an expectation of compensation, motivated Shaher Elsohemy to go undercover as a police agent to infiltrate the now-notorious "Toronto 18" terrorism plot, a court heard on Friday.
"The money did not play any role in my motivation," Mr. Elsohemy, the Crown's star witness, told a Brampton Superior Court judge. Though he would ultimately receive a $4-million witness protection package after helping police foil the 2006 bomb plot, Mr. Elsohemy said he was driven by his "responsibility as a Canadian citizen, and nothing but that."
Financial compensation was not discussed until mid-April, Mr. Elsohemy testified, several days after he had already unravelled for police the full Toronto 18 plot, which involved detonating powerful explosives at the Toronto Stock Exchange, a downtown CSIS facility and a military base between Toronto and Ottawa.
Mr. Elsohemy gained inside access to the terrorism plot with promises of obtaining bomb-making chemicals, including three tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
He has been testifying all week at the trial of Shareef Abdelhaleem, who is charged with playing a key role in the Toronto 18 scheme.
The court heard that right up until his arrest on June 2, 2006, Mr. Abdelhaleem was unwittingly arranging illicit dealings involving several undercover police agents: Mr. Elsohemy, an officer posing as the landlord of a warehouse the group rented to store chemicals, and a third officer who drove a truck purportedly filled with nitric acid and ammonium nitrate to that warehouse.
Right up until the moment the plot fell apart, Mr. Elsohemy testified, Mr. Abdelhaleem was finetuning a myriad of small details to ensure the chemical delivery went off without a hitch. He developed a code for communicating with two accomplices manning the Newmarket warehouse -- who were to wear shirts emblazoned with the logo "student farmers" to alleviate suspicion over the large chemical shipment -- and discussed how they pair should adapt their behaviour, the court heard.
"They will dress as we told them to, and they will shave and smoke cigarettes in front of the [chemical truck] driver," he allegedly told Mr. Elsohemy.
The accused suggested coating the warehouse doors with a layer of wax so the group could determine whether there had been any unauthorized entry, the judge heard.
Mr. Abdelhaleem also requested that once the delivery was complete, Mr. Elsohemy should bring him a small sample of the chemicals for a "trial explosion," the witness testified.
After the shipment on June 2, 2006, Mr. Elsohemy says he talked to Mr. Abdelhaleem on the phone and relayed the message, "thank God," meant to indicate a successful delivery.
"That was the last time I spoke to Mr. Abdelhaleem," Mr. Elsohemy testified. The arrests followed swiftly afterward.
Defence lawyer William Naylor is scheduled to begin his cross-examination this afternoon.