"Toronto 18" bomb plotter Shareef Abdelhaleem was against terrorism and felt like an "outsider" when his friends discussed the topic in the months leading to his 2006 arrest, a Superior Court judge heard this morning.
Abdelhaleem was testifying at an entrapment hearing in Brampton to determine whether police conduct in his case constituted an abuse of process. The 34-year-old software developer 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.
A seemingly agitated Abdelhaleem talked interchangeably about his cocaine habit, his troubled relationship with his father and his contact with police agent Shaher Elsohemy, who helped foil the Toronto 18 plot.
Wearing a dark shirt and neat beard, a slumped Abdelhaleem spoke quickly and often trailed off into mumbles.
He told the court he believed in a strong distinction between jihad, which has "certain rules of engagement," and terrorism.
"Terrorism is a guy that is blind to all these rules. Pissed off and willing to do anything. It's not right," Abdelhaleem told the judge.
His testimony continues.