*** I told you, if it checks out - charge and arrest him. People like this ruin the name of all the good, law-abiding Muslim scholars who are actually qualified to give fatwas. MS ***
The father of "Toronto 18" bomb plotter Shareef Abdelhaleem says he never issued a fatwa sanctioning terrorist acts in Canada, despite contradictory testimony from a star Crown witness at his son's trial.
Mohammed Tariq Abdelhaleem, speaking outside Brampton court today after testifying at an entrapment hearing, suggested police agent Shaher Elsohemy invented the fatwa angle because he held "a grudge against me and my son."
A self-described "thinker, not a terrorist," the elder Abdelhaleem, 62, used to teach Islamic education classes in Mississauga and worked as a nuclear engineer until his son's arrest. He has since retired.
During testimony at Shareef Abdelhaleem's trial, Mr. Elsohemy said the accused obtained a fatwa, or religious ruling, from his father saying an attack in Canada would be "acceptable."
Mr. Elsohemy told the judge that upon receiving the ruling, Shareef Abdelhaleem said "things are clear for him now... He has no doubts about [the plot's] Islamic correctness."
Mohammed Tariq Abdelhaleem denied the story today, saying his son was well aware of his opposition to terrorism and would have had no need to ask for a fatwa. He believes he, and not his son, was Mr. Elsohemy's ultimate target because of a personal disagreement between their families.
"He's punishing me in the shape of my son."
Shareef Abdelhaleem, 34, was found guilty last week of participating in a terrorist plot to detonate powerful truck bombs at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the CSIS regional office on Front Street and a military base between Toronto and Ottawa. The entrapment hearing is examining whether there was an abuse of police process in the case.