Monday, June 7, 2010



Asad Ansari, one of the final two accused in the “Toronto 18″ terrorism case, was unaware of the group’s bomb plot and did nothing intentionally to further it, a Superior Court jury heard on Monday.

In his closing address, defence lawyer John Norris said while there was evidently a terrorist group in operation between 2005 and 2006, Mr. Ansari was not an active participant — despite attending a winter training camp in Washago, Ont.

“Nothing that Mr. Ansari did has crossed the line into criminality,” Mr. Norris said. The court has heard Mr. Ansari viewed the camp as a simple bonding exercise, and was not present for some of the darker activities, such as group leader Fahim Ahmad’s speech calling for the destruction of western society.

There is no evidence Ahmad, described as a “big talker,” ever revealed his terrorist ambitions to Mr. Ansari, the jury heard, though the two often discussed Mideast politics in the aftermath of 9/11. This is because Ahmad, who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges last month, knew he would not be able to recruit Mr. Ansari, Mr. Norris contended.

“Mr. Ansari wouldn’t be recruited to his cause because he disagreed with [Ahmad] and made no secret of that,” Mr. Norris said.

Michael Moon, counsel for the second remaining accused, Steven Chand, will deliver his address next, followed by the Crown.

This is the first jury trial in Canadian history to deal with terrorism charges.